PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In Tuesday’s election, the majority of Oregonians said they want lawmakers to show up to work and do their jobs – and if they don’t, there should be consequences. 

Measure 113 asked registered voters if 10 or more unexcused absences by legislators should be considered “disorderly behavior” and if those absences should disqualify legislators from serving as a senator or representatives for the following term. 

According to unofficial election results as of 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, more than two-thirds of voters supported passing the bill. The yes votes in favor of Measure 113 led with 68.25% of the vote. 

According to the Oregon voters’ pamphlet, the yes vote disqualifies legislators who have 10 unexcused absences from legislative floor sessions from holding office as a state lawmaker for the following term. 

The passage of the measure would add language to the Oregon Constitution detailing the consequence of 10 unexcused absences. The lawmakers would be banned from holding a legislative office for one term. A candidate may run for office in the next primary and general elections after the ban ends. 

The Oregon Constitution currently requires two-thirds of all Senate or House members to be present to conduct legislative business during a floor session. By not reaching the two-thirds requirement, the legislative bodies cannot hold a quorum and therefore cannot vote on pieces of legislature. 

In 2021, Senate Republicans walked out for the third consecutive year to protest Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 restrictions. 

In 2020, Republican members of both the House and Senate walked out of the Capitol to boycott the cap-and-trade bill, which was meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 2019 walkout was over a similar cap-and-trade bill. 

Oregon Democrats are not blameless when it comes to walkouts. In 2001, when Gov. Kate Brown was a state representative, she and other Democrats walked out to protest Republicans’ efforts to redraw Oregon’s legislative districts. 

According to the Oregon voters’ pamphlet, lawmakers can have an eligible absence excused by completing paperwork explaining the absence. The Senate president or House speaker will determine if it qualifies as excused. Currently, there is no way to appeal the Senate president or House speaker’s decisions on absences and both leaders are not required to explain their decisions. 

In the Oregon voters’ pamphlet, there were no arguments made against the measure. 

One statement in favor of the measure from Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, or PCUN, an Oregon farmworkers’ union, said, “Two years after farmworker overtime was proposed, farmworkers worked through a pandemic, wildfires and 100+ degree weather, without overtime pay. Meanwhile, politicians received payment for work that they missed, without excuse.” 

In Oregon, there were only two counties where the majority of the votes were against passing Measure 113: Sherman County and Lake County.  

The interactive map below shows the counties in green that voted in favor of it and the counties in red that voted against it. 

Oregon’s official election results will not be certified until December 5.