by NW Spotlight
The Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) will be holding their 2012 Primary Election starting on June 19 and ending on July 17. Candidates seeking the IPO nomination must have completed the first three steps of the IPO 2012 Primary Election nomination process by June 14, 2012.
According to the IPO web site, “The offices eligible for this Primary Election are U.S. President, each of the 5 Oregon seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 15 seats in the Oregon Senate, 60 seats in the Oregon House of Representatives, and several seats on county commissions that are elected on a partisan basis.”
Republican and Democratic candidates sometimes seek the Independent Party nomination because under a 2009 Oregon law that allows “fusion voting”, candidates can use both Independent and Democrat or Republican on the voters’ pamphlet statement and ballot (up to 3 party nominations).
Winning the Independent Party nomination can be done with an extremely low number of votes. For example, in the recent special election to replace David Wu in Oregon’s First Congressional District (CD-1), Suzanne Bonamici won the Independent Party nomination with a total of just 56 votes. There were 13,546 registered Independent Party voters and 421,331 total registered voters at the time in CD-1.
There are currently 75,022 registered voters in the Independent Party of Oregon, 3.6% of all the registered voters in Oregon.
In 2005, the Oregon State Legislature passed a law to eliminate the word “Independent” on all ballots. Before 2006, any candidate who qualified for the ballot by collecting sufficient signatures of registered voters was identified on the ballot as “Independent.” The Legislature changed the word to “non-affiliated,” which released the term “Independent” to be used as the name of a political party in Oregon. In response to this new law, citizen activists collected 26,000 signatures during 2006 to form the Independent Party of Oregon. The party was officially recognized by the Oregon Secretary of State in January 2007.
(IPO history source – IPO web site)