Circulator Training

Critical information for chief petitioners: A circulator’s failure to comply with the Elections Division guidelines may result in rejection of petition signature sheets and a felony conviction for the circulator.

To ensure compliance with the circulating requirements, chief petitioners​​ must educate circulators and monitor their activities.

Circulator Guideline​s and Requirements

The following guidelines and requirements apply to all petitions. Petition-specific guidelines and requirements can be found in each manual.

Each petition circulator must:

  • Personally witness all signatures collected, and should not collect additional signatures on the petit​ion sheet once the circulator certification has been signed and dated.
  • Complete the circulator certification by signing their legal signature, with a minimum of a first name initial and full last name.
  • Provide the date when the certification was signed.

If additional signatures are gathered after the circulator certification has been signed and dated, the circulator must re-sign and re-date the certification.

It is against the law for circulators to:

  • ​Circulate a petition containing a false signature.
  • Make false statements to anyone who signs the petition or requests information about it.
  • Attempt to obtain the signature of a person who is not qualified to sign the petition.
  • Offer money or anything of value to another person to sign or not sign the petition.
  • Sell or offer to sell signature sheets.
  • Write, alter, correct, clarify or obscure any information about a signer unless the signer initials after the change is made.
    • A circulator may assist a disabled signer who requests assistance in completing their printed name, address and date signed.
  • For initiative, referendum and candidate nominating petitions, accept compensation to circulate a petition that is based on the number of signatures obtained.

Violations of the circulator requirements may result in conviction of a felony, with a fine of up to $125,000 and/or prison for up to five years, in accordance with ORS 260.715.

Circulator Registration

In addition to the requirements listed above, state law requires everyone being paid to collect signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition to register as a paid circulator prior to gathering signatures.

If within the last​ five years the prospective paid circulator has:

a) Been convicted of a criminal offense in any state involving fraud, forgery or identification theft; or
b) Has had a civil penalty imposed for certain election law violations.

...they may not be paid for gathering signatures and are prohibited from registering.

Circulator Registration: Process

A paid circulator must coordinate with chief petitioners or their authorized agents to ensure a complete registration is submitted to the Elections Division. To begin the registration process, a paid circulator:

  • Reviews the Circulator Training Manual (PDF)
  • Completes the Circulator Training Certificate
  • Provides the required information on the Circulator Registration form

To complete the registration process, chief petitioners or their authorized agents:

  • Ensure a criminal records check has been conducted on the paid circulator.
  • Provide the Criminal History Report from the Oregon State Police Open Records Section.
  • Coordinate the production of a digital photograph of the paid circulator.
  • Acknowledge their liability for violations of law or rule made by the paid circulator.
  • Submit the paid circulator’s completed registration to the Elections Division.

Circulator Registration: Checklist

A complete registration includes the following. 

An incomplete registration will be rejected and returned to the filer.

Within five business days of receiving a completed circulator registration, the Elections Division will issue a badge, which the paid circulator must carry as proof of registration when circulating.

Once registered, paid circulators are prohibited from gathering signatures as a volunteer during any time period for which the circulator is being paid to gather signatures.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Circulator FAQ

Get your questions answered in this quick how-to guide on correcting certification errors​.​

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