Open, top-two primaries make the Oregon ballot
|Endorsements • Polls|
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. Ultimately, the measure was certified for the November ballot with 91,716 valid signatures.
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. 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.
- Oregon 2014 ballot measures
- Oregon Open Primary Initiative (2014)
- Oregon Unified Primary Elections Initiative (2014)
- Oregon Top Two Elections, Measure 65 (2008)
- Oregon Fund for Post-Secondary Education, SJR 1 (2014)
- Oregon Hiring of State Judges by National Guard and State Universities, SJR 203 (2014)
- Oregon Equal Rights for Women Initiative (2014)
- Oregon Alternative Driver Licenses Referendum (2014)
- The Oregonian, "Backers of 'top two' primary initiative submit 140,000 signatures to Oregon secretary of state," June 23, 2014
- Statesmen Journal, "Open primary initiative qualifies for November ballot," July 16, 2014
- Ballot Access News, "Two Rival Top-Two Initiatives are Circulating in Oregon," May 15, 2014
- Oregon Secretary of State, "Detailed display of initiative 55," accessed May 26, 2014