Oregon Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 16

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Tue Apr 9 18:23:48 PDT 1996

Oregon Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 16, contains:

     In all elections authorized by this constitution until otherwise
provided by law, the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes
shall be declared elected, but provision may be made by law for elections by
equal proportional representation of all the voters for every office which is
filled by the election of two or more persons whose official duties, rights
and powers are equal and concurrent. Every qualified elector resident in his
precinct and registered as may be required by law, may vote for one person
under the title for each office. Provision may be made by law for the voter's
direct or indirect expression of his first, second or additional choices
among the candidates for any office. For an office which is filled by the
election of one person it may be required by law that the person elected
shall be the final choice of a majority of the electors voting for candidates
for that office. These principles may be applied by law to nominations by
political parties and organizations.
A quick scan of the Oregon laws shows that no laws exist to enforce the above
(no big surprise with incumbents in the Oregon Legislature). 

Thus, any election reform must be detailed enough to be "self-executing" (in
constitutional law terminology) or it will be a dead provision. At all costs
avoid language such as "may be made by law" or "defined by law", etc.
I note that many state constitutions have lengthy sections regarding law
initiatives, law referendums, constitutional amendments and recalls that are
mostly "self-executing".

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