From Shawn M. Griffiths at the Independent Voter Network:
The Independent Party of Oregon (IPO), which recently gained major-party status in the state, has reportedly told Oregon’s secretary of state that it will allow unaffiliated voters to participate in its state-funded primary election. Imagine the irony if it didn’t.
As previously reported on IVN, the party was informed that it met the qualifications to petition for major-party status in February.
“Under Oregon law, a political party becomes a “major” party when it’s membership is equal to 5% of the number of voters eligible to vote at the most recent general election. According to the Secretary of State’s office, IPO membership now stands at 108,744. That is six more members than the number of voters required.” – Sal Peralta, IPO Secretary
Major-party status, according to Peralta, means IPO candidates will appear on the party’s own primary ballot in the 2016 elections. By keeping its primary open, the party is opening its doors to over half a million voters who have chosen not to identify with any political party and the tens of thousands who are members of minor parties in the state.
OregonLive.com reported Friday that some state lawmakers want to get more unaffiliated voters involved in the primary process. The number of independent voters is expected to increase exponentially (more so than it already has) because of the state’s new motor voter law, which automatically registers people to vote using driver’s license data.
Read the full article here.