(The following was originally published in IVN.)
The Independent Party of Oregon scored a major ally in the party’s effort to protect ballot access for third parties in Oregon this week, when Oregon’s Senate Republicans sent a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney (D), asking him to take steps to ensure that the Independent Party and several of Oregon’s minor parties would not lose ballot access as a result of the state’s new “Motor Voter” law.
Small parties in Oregon are threatened by the passage of Oregon’s new voter registration system, which is expected to add nearly 400,000, mostly non-affiliated voters into the system. Because ballot access for Oregon political parties is based on their share of the overall electorate, several Oregon political parties including the Independent, Working Families, Progressive and Constitution parties are threatened with losing ballot access.
Under the previous system, 75 percent of voters joined a political party. Under the new system, only 9 percent are joining political parties.