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  • What is the CIRC?
    The Citizens' Initiative Review Commission (CIRC) was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 (House Bill 2634.)

    Citizens' Initiative Review is an innovative way of publicly evaluating ballot measures so voters have clear, useful, and trustworthy information at election time.

    During the Citizens' Initiative Review, a panel of randomly-selected and demographically-balanced voters is brought together from across the state to fairly evaluate a ballot measure. The panel hears directly from campaigns for and against the measure and calls upon policy experts during the multi-day public review. For each measure reviewed, a new panel is convened.

    At the conclusion of the in-depth review, the panel then drafts a Citizens' Statement highlighting the most important findings about the measure. Each Citizens' Statement is published as a prominent page in the voters pamphlet as a new and easily accessible resource for voters to use at election time.
  • "Deep Thinking" that Goes into 220 Words

    Special report by Sinnamon Harris​

    On Monday morning, August 6, 2012, the 
    Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission (CIRC) kicked-off the first initiative panel review. Panelists traveled from across the state to congregate at the Salem Conference Center. Panelists had been culled from an intricate but random process developed by the Oregon Healthy Democracy to insure a microcosm of Oregon was represented.

    Marion Sharp, one of the first CIRC Commissioners and a former panelist for the 2010 CIR pilot program, welcomed the Oregon panelists and shared some of her experiences. She spoke about the satisfaction of seeing the hard work come to its fruition with publication in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet and the “deep thinking” that went into those few 220 words.
    Sharp told the panelists that they are involved in the historical event of becoming the first initiative review panel convened by the newly minted CIRC. She explained that the CIRC is charged by the 2011 Legislature with overseeing the initiative review process. Sharp also explained that the two initiatives to be reviewed were chosen, in part, by the commission because of the initiative’s potential fiscal impact on Oregonians and because the initiatives amend the Oregon Constitution.
    Sharp concluded her words by assuring the panelists that they were in for an “incredible experience” and to be sure to, as she quoted from past moderators,  “stay in learning mode” in order to be a more effective panelist.
    In closing Sharp told the panelists, “Welcome to an amazing experience!”
Contacts Current Topics
Citizens' Initiative Review Commission 
PO Box 9156 
Portland OR 97207-9156
Healthy Democracy 
A non-profit organization supporting citizens' initiative review. For more information:

Healthy Democracy 

(Pilot review photo above courtesy of Healthy Democracy)



2016 Citizens' Initiative Review

A panel of 20 Oregonians convened August 18 - 21, 2016 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth to consider Measure 97.  They heard from subject matter experts and proponents and opponents of Measure 97 and had the opportunity to ask questions and deliberate among themselves about the information they are receiving. At the conclusion of the review, the panel produced a Citizens’ Statement to give voters key facts about the measure and arguments for and against its passage.  The Citizens' Statement ​will be published in the 2016 Voters' Pamphlet.  For more information about the 2016 CIR, contact Healthy Democracy​.

2014 Citizens' Initiative Commission Recommendations on the 2014 CIRs

According to ORS 250.143, citizen panelists and moderators shall separately convene to evaluate procedures related to the Citizens Initiative Review and submit reports to the Commission summarizing the evaluation, along with any recommendations. Each year in which evaluations are conducted, the Commission shall review the evaluations and make any findings and recommendations. The Commission shall also make all such evaluations, findings and recommendations available to the public.

Click here to read the evaluations and CIRC's Findings and Recommendations​.