Candidates Filing by Declaration (ORS 249.002–249.078)
The following information for major political party candidates is provided in the order in which the activities generally occur and includes explanations and time frames for each activity.
Deadline to Register as a Member of a Major Political Party
A candidate who files for a major political party office must have been registered to vote as a member of that political party by September 10, 2009; 180 days prior to the filing deadline. Some exceptions are allowed by ORS 249.046.
All Candidates for Public Office
Qualifications for various public offices differ. Before filing for public office, a candidate should review the constitutional and statutory requirements for the office sought.
See the office requirements table.
Candidates for state partisan offices file under ORS chapter 249.
A person may only file for one lucrative office at the same election. Unless the person has withdrawn from the first filing, all filings are invalid. ORS 249.013(3)
For US President and Vice President, candidates may not file by declaration with a filing fee. See the discussion of the methods by which a major political party candidate may have the candidate’s name placed on the ballot in 2012.
Secretary of State
The Elections Division provides the following approved candidate filing forms, available at the back of this manual and online:
- Filing of Candidacy for Major Political Party (SEL 101)
- Statement of Organization for Candidate Committee (SEL 220)
- Campaign Account Information (SEL 223)
- A candidate may have only one candidate committee. A prospective candidate establishes a candidate committee by opening a campaign account and filing a Statement of Organization for Candidate Committee (SEL 220) and Campaign Account Information form (SEL 223) with the Elections Division.The candidate is not required to establish a campaign account, file a Statement of Organization or file contribution and expenditure transactions, if all three of the following conditions are met:
- the candidate serves as the candidate’s own treasurer
- the candidate does not have an existing candidate committee
- the candidate does not expect to receive or spend more than $750 during a calendar year
The $750 includes personal funds spent for any campaign related expenses, such as any costs related to circulating a nominating petition, paying the candidate filing fee, paying any Voters’ Pamphlet filing fee or cost of a Voters’ Pamphlet portrait. If the candidate exceeds $750 in either contributions or expenditures, the candidate must establish a campaign account and file a Statement of Organization within three business days after exceeding the threshold. Additionally, all contributions and expenditures made during the calendar year must be filed electronically not later than seven calendar days after the threshold has been exceeded.
Most candidates for federal office in Oregon file their campaign finance information with the Federal Election Commission (1 800 424 9530). Candidates for United States Senator file their campaign finance information with the Secretary of the Senate (202 224 0322) at: Office of Public Records, 232 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-7116.
If the candidate has an existing candidate committee, the candidate or treasurer must file an amended Statement of Organization for Candidate Committee (SEL 220) within 10 days to reflect any changes (designation of office sought, applicable election, etc.), but no later than the date of the filing of candidacy.
For further detail on campaign finance requirements, see the Campaign Finance Manual and the ORESTAR User's Manual. ORESTAR (Oregon Elections System for Tracking and Reporting) is the Secretary of State, Elections Division’s secure, web-based electronic reporting system.
Deadline to File a Statement of Organization
The Statement of Organization must be filed within 3 business days of receiving a contribution or making an expenditure, but no later than when the Filing of Candidacy for Major Political Party (SEL 101) is filed.
- A prospective candidate files a completed Filing of Candidacy for Major Political Party (SEL 101) with the Elections Division, accompanied by the appropriate fee as listed on the filing form. See suggested guidelines on completing the required sections of this form.
Deadline to Complete a Filing of Candidacy for Major Political Party
The deadline is no sooner than September 10, 2009, and no later than 5pm on March 9, 2010, for the 2010 Primary Election.
A major political party candidate on the primary election ballot who is not nominated to the general election may not be the candidate of any other political party or become a nonaffiliated candidate for the same office at the general election. ORS 249.048.
ORESTAR is the Secretary of State’s electronic reporting system. In addition to this system’s availability for campaign finance reporting for state and local candidates, it is also available for fee based candidate filing for the May 18, 2010 Primary Election for certain candidates. The candidates that may use this method of filing are major political party candidates; US Senator and US Representative candidates; and state nonpartisan candidates (see definition section for more description of these candidates).
To complete an online candidacy filing, a candidate goes to the Secretary of State, Elections Division’s website, logs into ORESTAR (for first time candidates, they will need to register) and clicks on the “File Candidacy (State Office)” link on the left navigation menu. The filing fee must be paid online by credit card. Both VISA and MasterCard are accepted. Candidacy filings that are submitted electronically can also be amended or withdrawn electronically, if necessary. Candidates using the petition process to gain ballot access must continue to file on paper forms.