Vote “YES” on Measure 65

The Oregon Ballot Freedom Project supports Ballot Measure 65.

The current system in Oregon excludes 24% of registered voters from participating in any partisan primary election. Only voters who have registered with a major party (Democratic or Republican) may participate in partisan elections. 24% of Oregonians don’t register with a major party, and are excluded from voting in important races like those for state and national legislators; statewide offices like Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer; and some local positions.

Ballot Measure 65, on the November 2008 ballot, would change the primary system. All voters would choose from a list of all candidates in the primary election; the top two finishers would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

This system would treat all voters equally, and would allow every voter to choose the best candidate.

In addition, voters would be provided more factual information on the ballot: any party could endorse any candidate. If a candidate chooses to accept the nominations, he or she might have several party endorsements (e.g., Democratic and Pacific Green, or Republican and Libertarian) listed on the ballot.

Many districts in Oregon are heavily Democratic or heavily Republican; under the current system, voters in these districts don’t have a genuine choice in the November general election. Candidates often attain office, effectively, by winning a narrow majority in low-turnout primary elections. There is no incentive for them to reach out to voters outside their parties. Measure 65 would change that, giving independent voters a true role in primary elections.


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