From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:
This op-ed in The Oregonian discusses the Independent Party’s impact on the Oregon elections of 2016. The author, Tim Nesbitt, speculates that because the Independent Party will probably have a government-administered primary, and because the Oregon Independent Party will let independent voters vote in its primary, that may put pressure on the two major parties to also let independent voters vote in their primaries.
The op-ed does not mention that both major parties in the past let independent voters vote in their primaries. The Democrats allowed that in 1998 and 2000. The Republicans allowed it in 2002.
The op-ed also mentions HB 2177, now pending in the legislature. It would put people on the voter rolls automatically if they have a drivers license or state ID card. But, if it passes, chances are the Independent Party will slip below 5% of the total state registration, and won’t have a government primary in 2016 after all. That is because, if the bill passes, all those new voters will automatically be listed as independent voters, not as party members, unless they respond to an inquiry asking if they want to be members of a party. Because there will be so many newly-registered voters, probably the Independent Party’s registration, as a percentage of the entire registered electorate, will slip. The Independent Party has already noticed this and opposes HB 2177.