ORS 255.411
Violations of ORS 255.405

  • process for bringing claim


A qualifying district is in violation of ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections) if it is shown that:


Electors in the qualifying district exhibit polarized voting; and


Members of a protected class do not have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice or an equal opportunity to influence the outcome of an election as a result of the dilution or abridgment of the rights of electors who are members of that protected class.


Subject to ORS 255.424 (Notice requirements to bring action), a violation of ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections) may be alleged by the filing of an action in either the circuit court of Marion County or the circuit court of any county in which the qualifying district is located by an individual who:


Is an elector;


Is a member of a protected class; and


Resides within the boundaries of the qualifying district.


An action filed under this section:


Is subject to the filing fee described in ORS 21.145 (Simple proceeding filing fee); and


Must be tried and decided by a judge.


The fact that members of a protected class are not geographically compact or concentrated to constitute a majority in a proposed or existing qualifying district may not preclude a judge from finding a violation of ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections) but may be a factor in determining an appropriate remedy.


In determining whether polarized voting exists, a court shall analyze qualifying district elections in which at least one candidate is a member of a protected class or in which other electoral choices would affect the rights and privileges of members of a protected class. Elections conducted prior to the filing of an action under this section are more probative to establishing the existence of polarized voting than elections conducted after the filing of an action.


Proof of intent on the part of electors, elected officials or a board of a qualifying district to discriminate against a protected class is not required for a judge to find a violation of ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections).


Factors that are probative to establishing a violation of ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections), but that are not necessary to establish a violation, include:


A history of discrimination;


The use of voting practices or procedures that may enhance dilutive effects in elections;


The denial of access to the processes that determine which groups of candidates receive financial support in an election;


The extent to which members of a protected class bear the effects of past discrimination in areas of education, employment and health in a manner that hinders the ability of members of the protected class to participate effectively in the political process; and


The use of overt or subtle racial appeals in political campaigns.


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


If a judge finds that a qualifying district has violated ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections), a court may order any remedy the court determines is necessary to cure the violation, including but not limited to requiring the board of the qualifying district to adopt a new electoral system that is tailored to remedy the violation, in compliance with ORS 255.405 (Requirements for qualifying district elections) (1)(b).


A court order requiring the board of a qualifying district to adopt a new electoral system:


May not apply to the first qualifying district election held after the court order; and


Shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, apply to qualifying district elections held after the election described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.


The court shall award any individual who prevails in an action brought under this section reasonable attorney fees, costs and expenses. A qualifying district that prevails in an action brought under this section is not entitled to costs or expenses and may be awarded reasonable attorney fees only if a judge finds that the action was brought in bad faith or for purposes of harassment. [2019 c.449 §4]

Source: Section 255.411 — Violations of ORS 255.405; process for bringing claim, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors255.­html.

“District” defined
Procedures for district elections
Authority of elections officer to obtain advice and assistance
Notice of change of district boundary
Delegation to district elections authority of responsibility to conduct district election
Date of election on measure referred by district elections authority
Delivery and preparation of form for updating information on members of district boards
Publication of notice of district election to elect district board or district school board
Notice of district election on issuance of bonds or on other measure
Definitions for ORS 255.125 to 255.205
Application of ORS 255.135 to 255.205
Prospective petition
Determination of compliance with constitutional provisions
Preparation of ballot title for certain measures
Procedure for elector dissatisfied with title of district measure
Signature requirements
Filing officer
Date of election on measure initiated or referred by electors
Retention of petition materials
Notice by mail in lieu of or in addition to newspaper publication
Nomination of candidates for election to district boards
Nominations to fill certain vacancies
Methods of providing map of proposed boundaries for election on boundary question
Ballot to state position or zone number of candidate
Preparing abstract
Election expenses paid by district
Legislative intent to promote regularity of special district elections
Regular district election
Special election dates
Definitions for ORS 255.400 to 255.424
Requirements for qualifying district elections
Violations of ORS 255.405
Ability of board of qualifying district to remedy violation
Notice requirements to bring action
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