Open, top-two primaries make the Oregon ballot

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Local measures

July 18, 2014

By Margaret Koenig

Supporters of an open, top-two primary system are closer to actualizing their goal following the July 15, 2014, certification of their initiated state statute. Every Oregon Voter Counts Petition Committee submitted 140,045 signatures to the secretary of state's office on June 23, 2014.[1] Ultimately, the measure was certified for the November ballot with 91,716 valid signatures.[2]

The measure, if approved, would create a top-two system of general election voting where the primary ballot allows voters to choose one candidate from all candidates, regardless of political party. The top two candidates, regardless of political party, would then be voted upon in the general election.[3][4] Such primary systems are referred to as blanket primaries, top-two primaries or jungle primaries. California, Louisiana and Washington all have versions of a blanket primary. Despite its neighboring states' use of the system, Oregonians overwhelmingly rejected a similar measure in 2008.

Another initiative, the Unified Primary Elections Initiative, was circulating petitions for the 2014 ballot, as well. That measure would have likewise created a top-two system, but it would also have allowed voters to vote for more than one candidate in the primary election. However, supporters did not submit signatures by the deadline to place the measure on the ballot.

The primary initiative joins four other certified measures on the 2014 ballot. Only two potential initiatives still await certification for the ballot: one regarding mandatory genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling and another legalizing recreational marijuana. Both potential measures submitted signatures far exceeding the required 87,213 valid signatures and are likely to be certified in the coming weeks.

See also

Oregon

References