Independent Party qualifies as major political party for 2016


Independent Party of Oregon

SALEM – Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins today confirmed that the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) qualifies as a major party for the 2016 elections.

Oregon law reserves major party status to political parties with memberships at or above 5% of all registered voters as of the previous general election. The target number is presently 108,739 members. IPO has exceeded that number since early February 2016, when Secretary of State Kate Brown announced IPO’s major party status, subject to confirmation on August 17, 2016.

Today, IPO is confirmed at having 109,363 members, so IPO is Oregon’s third major party for the 2016 elections.

Oregon law has many provisions that present obstacles to the smooth operation of a new major party. Among them is the restriction that no one can run in the IPO primary election (May 2016) who has not been a member of the party for 250 days prior to the primary election. That means all potential IPO primary election candidates must be members of IPO as of September 10, 2015, less than 4 weeks from today.

IPO asked the Oregon Legislature to change that law and others that impair any new major party, but the Legislature made none of the requested changes.

“We look forward to providing more voices and more choices for Oregon voters in the 2016 elections,” said IPO co-chair Linda Williams.

As a major party, IPO will be able to nominate candidates in all partisan contests, including those for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Oregon Senator, Oregon Representative, and county commissioner in about one-third of Oregon counties.


  • September 10th, 2015 is the final date to join the IPO in order to appear as a candidate on our May Primary election ballot. This is also the first day to file as a candidate for the 2016 election cycle.
  • February 17th, 2016 is the final date for IPO to open primary elections to non-affiliated voters (we have already announced our intention to do this).

Reporting on the Independent Party of Oregon qualifying as major party

Oregonian: Independent Party of Oregon qualifies as a major party

Salem Statesman Journal (AP): Independent Party of Oregon is now a major party

Bend Bulletin: Independent Party becomes Oregon’s third, newest major party

Portland Tribune: Independent Party of Oregon achieves major status