Oregon Independent Party Achievement
January 21st, 2008
The Oregon Independent Party became ballot-qualified in January 2007. It was formed by people who were angry that the 2005 session of the Oregon legislature had made ballot access so difficult for independent candidates.
Oregon law provides two methods for a ballot-qualified party to remain on the ballot. Either it must poll 1% for any statewide race at the last election, or it must keep its registration above one-half of 1% of the state registration total. Currently, the Libertarian and Green Parties of Oregon have more than one-half of 1% of the state registration total, so their ballot status is “safe”; they will remain on the ballot, even if their entire statewide slate fails to poll 1% in 2008. Now, the Independent Party of Oregon has also just about qualified for “safe” status. The November 2007 voter registration tally shows that it has registration of .48% of the state total, and is growing rapidly. At the rate at which it has been gaining registrations, it is virtually certain to be above .50% in the December 2007 tally, and in the various monthly tallies of 2008.
By contrast, the Working Families Party registration in Oregon for November 2007 was only .08%. Statewide offices on the 2008 ballot will be president, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General. Unless Working Families registration increases drastically, the party will need to poll 1% for one of these offices, or it will lose its ballot position immediately after the November 2008 election.