Eugene, Oregon Newspaper Endorses Independent Party’s Idea to Send All Three Primary Ballots to New Voters

independent-oregonFrom Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The Eugene, Oregon daily newspaper, the Register-Guard, here editorializes in favor of an idea first proposed by the Independent Party of Oregon. Currently the Democratic and Republican Parties of Oregon do not let independent voters vote in their primaries, but the Independent Party does. The Independent Party will hold a government-administered primary in 2016 for the first time, due to its new higher registration total.

Oregon has just switched to a system in which all adult citizens known to the state government automatically become registered, unless they opt out. In Oregon, all registered voters automatically receive a mail ballot.

Current law says these newly-registered voters will get a letter from the elections office, asking if they wish to become a registered member of any qualified party. The Independent Party says a better way to reach out to the newly-registered voters and determine their interest in being a member of any party is to send three primary ballots to these voters, Republican, Democratic, and Independent. If a newly-registered voter chooses to vote in one of the three primaries, that will be deemed to be that voter’s act of affiliating with that party.

12 thoughts on “Eugene, Oregon Newspaper Endorses Independent Party’s Idea to Send All Three Primary Ballots to New Voters

  1. Andy Craig

    Because having state-run primaries isn’t enough of a taxpayer subsidy for the entrenched incumbent parties already?

    No thank you. Nice to see it didn’t take IPO long to jump on the major-party protectionism bandwagon.

  2. paulie

    Not sure I understand the question. The Wagner/Hedbor LPO only lets registered Libertarians vote by mail in their primary, and then only the people that return ballots are eligible to vote on their internal party governance.

    IPO on the other hand wants to let any and all voters vote in their primary. They don’t seem to have much of an ideological core, so what’s to take over?

  3. Losty

    As soon as we figure out who the LPO is (and Let’s Not go there again…)
    Does the State Recognized (Not the LP Recognised party, because they can’t seem to make up their mind) Have enough registered to go to state recognized Primary?
    If so, why don’t they have the state mail out the primary ballot to them (Either all 4 or just the LP)?

  4. Dave Terry

    “Currently the Democratic and Republican Parties of Oregon do not let independent voters vote in their primaries, but the Independent Party does. The Independent Party will hold a government-administered primary in 2016 for the first time, due to its new higher registration total.”

    An eloquent description of why the “Independent (sic) Party of Oregon” is like a pack of dogs with diarrhea. In MOST states as it was in Oregon until just a few years ago, an “independent” voter was registered voter, UNAFFILIATED with any political party.
    Then, the geniuses in the State Legislature changed the official designation for an independent voter to “Nonaffiliated Voter”.
    Thus, thousands of formerly “independent” voters were suddenly transformed into members of a Political Party with the word “Independent” in it’s name. Many voters were unaware that they NOW had to check the box labeled “Non-Affiliated” if they wished to remain independent of the other party labels.

    Is anyone surprised that the political landscape is now covered with heaps of dog shit and voters must be mindful when they receive their “official” ballot for their “chosen” political party they must be VERY careful when opening the envelope!!!.

  5. paulie

    why don’t they have the state mail out the primary ballot to them (Either all 4 or just the LP)?

    As noted, they aren’t eligible. If they were eligible, some libertarians would object to the use of state money and/or dilution of votes on philosophical grounds and some would not.

  6. Wes Wagner

    The LPO also requests items of party business and other issues on our primary ballots we mail out. The state would not do that for us even if we wanted them to.

    Running your own primary is the ethical thing to do but it is also pragmatic.

  7. paulie

    Because having state-run primaries isn’t enough of a taxpayer subsidy for the entrenched incumbent parties already?

    Exactly.

  8. Richard P. Burke

    All,

    The Libertarian Party of Oregon has always financed it’s own candidate selection processes. This is not unique to Wagner’s process, which is illegitimate under the LPO governing documents approved by members in properly noticed conventions and, I believe, will ultimately become illegitimate in the eyes of the Secretary of State.

    And while it is often papered over on IPR, it should be noted that his process has resulted in more Republican candidates on our ballot line than any of the processes laid out by our legitimate bylaws. People I know have been called “Republican plants” on this blog, but Wagner’s group has always gotten a pass on this.

    I like the idea of nominating conventions. To get the nomination, a candidate typically must take the trouble to show up and must often rustle up some supporters to show up. Nominating conventions bring libertarians together. This tends to increase party activity.

    Granted, it is easier to generate more paper candidates if people can simply write their name on a mail ballot and Wagner’s system excels at this.

    But the number of candidates running active, funded campaigns has actually dropped markedly under Wagner’s system – just check out the slates, voter pamphlets, and C&E reports, and media endorsements from 2000 ,2002, 2004, and even 2006. Also, the number of candidates they are recruited for winnable local nonpartisan races has approached, though not quite reached, zero. But by 2008 and 2010, the Wagner lawsuits, recall petitions, and other such activities were beginning to take their toll, and then in 2011 Wagner’s group completely blew things up.

    To a large degree, the growth of the Independent Party of Oregon is a sham. Polling has shown that the vast majority of people signing up as “Independent” Party members actually thought they were signing up as non-affiliated candidates. This is buttressed by the fact that only 4% of IPO voters participated in their 2014 online primary.

    Richard P. Burke, Secretary
    Libertarian Party of Oregon

  9. paulie

    Polling has shown that the vast majority of people signing up as “Independent” Party members actually thought they were signing up as non-affiliated

    True in CA and other states that have parties named “Independent” as well…

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