Lawmakers Advance Bill To Limit Self-Promotion By Elections Officials

Jun 10, 2019

County clerks in Oregon would face new limits on putting their names on elections materials under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon House.  Senate Bill 670 would prohibit elections officials from putting their name on things like ballot return envelopes and instructional materials sent to voters. The restriction would only apply when those officials are themselves on the ballot.

Supporters, including Rep. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene, said it’s about leveling the playing field for all candidates. “Name recognition is an advantage for anyone running for office, especially in elections where there’s maybe not as much information about the candidate or the position they’re running for,” she said.

A ballot drop site in Salem.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

Opponents of the bill said having the county clerk’s name on elections materials keeps those officials accountable to voters. The bill would not affect home rule counties that don’t elect a clerk, including Lane and Benton Counties. It now heads to the Oregon Senate for consideration of an amendment.