Measure 65

Argument in Favor

Measure #65 is a "Trojan Horse"

But you should vote for it anyway

By law, voters in Oregon are segregated by party affiliation. Republicans and Democrats are subsidized while restrictions are imposed on anyone else who attempts to participate as a voter or candidate. There's no legitimate reason for this segregation, but partisans control the legislature, and they wrote the rules.
Partisan elections should be abolished, which is exactly what sponsors of this measure claim they're doing. Unfortunately - it's just not true. If you read past the nonbinding preamble and scrutinize the actual statutory changes in this measure, the statutes defining partisan elections are not repealed. Instead, a new "voter choice office" is created.

Read carefully:

SECTION 4. Definitions. As used in this chapter, "voter choice office" means the office of United States Senator, Representative in Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, state Senator or state Representative; or any other state, county, city or district office that is not:

(1) A nonpartisan office; or

(2) An office for which nominations to the general election by political parties are expressly authorized by law.

The last subsection above (2) is odd - since partisan elections are abolished. This subsection is called a "hook". It allows the legislature to "gut" this initiative by "expressly authorizing" partisan offices. That's why the partisan election statutes weren't repealed. Note that neither subsection is necessary. Each "voter choice" office could have been listed.
Nonetheless, this is still a referendum on partisan elections. So I'm voting for it, and you should too. Just don't believe the story about partisan elections being abolished.
The only way to permanently guarantee fair and open elections is to reverse the court rulings that upheld partisan elections in the first place. To do this, the Oregon Constitution should be amended to allow referendums on judicial rulings. We can't rely on judges to protect are elections because partisans control the courts too.

www.thekeel.org

(This information furnished by Paul Damian Wells.)


Argument in Favor

Former Governors John Kitzhaber (Democrat) and Vic Atiyeh (Republican) both agree:

Measure 65 will encourage more independent-minded candidates to run for public office.

We are two former Oregon Governors who represent different political parties but share a common belief: whether it is building consensus around our land use system or addressing our health care crisis, getting the best solutions for Oregon requires independent thinking and engaging all Oregonians regardless of party affiliation.

We need more independent-minded Oregonians to run for office – leaders willing to build consensus, regardless of party line. The Open Primary will support the election of independent-minded candidates.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 65 so voters can choose the best candidate, regardless of party affiliation.

Right now in our closed primary system, Oregonians can't cross party lines. An Open Primary would change that so every voter can vote for the person they think is best suited for the job, regardless of party registration.

We know this change will bring better solutions for Oregon.

That's why two former Governors are coming together again today – a Republican and a Democrat – to urge a YES vote on Measure 65. It's not about partisanship; it's about the best ideas and the best solutions for Oregon.

Measure 65 supports Oregon's legacy of innovative solutions and pioneering spirit. We are a state founded by independent-minded leaders who dared to be the first to swim against the tide.

That's why over 100,000 Oregonians from across the state brought this measure to the ballot.

In changing the way we elect our leaders, Measure 65 will allow Oregonians to elect the best.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure 65.

Former Governor John Kitzhaber – Democrat

Former Governor Victor Atiyeh – Republican

(This information furnished by Former Governor John Kitzhaber, Democrat; Former Governor Vic Atiyeh, Republican.)


Argument in Favor

Women from across Oregon
– Democrats, Republicans and Independents –
urge a YES vote on Measure 65.

We are women from across the state who work every day to support our families, our schools and our communities. One of the most important decisions we all make – whether in Prineville, Jacksonville, Enterprise, Portland, Aloha or elsewhere across the state – is to elect leaders who best represent our state and local interests.

Yet today in Oregon, over 400,000 – almost 25% -- of registered voters are excluded from participating in the partisan primaries.

We believe everyone deserves an equal chance to vote. That's why we want every Oregon voter to VOTE YES on MEASURE 65.

Measure 65 would change Oregon's nomination process for most offices so all candidates run in a single primary election, in which everyone could vote. Voters would know which political party a candidate is in and which party endorses each candidate, but they could vote for the best candidate, regardless of their party registration. The top two finishers would compete in the general election.

We deserve to vote for the candidate who will protect our families, build healthy communities, and help make Oregon a great place to live. But we must be given the opportunity to elect the candidate who best represents our views and supports our issues, regardless of party lines.

Allow all registered voters to vote in primaries.
Choose the best candidate, regardless of party.
Vote YES on Measure 65.

Diane Snyder, Enterprise, Oregon, Republican

Diane Christopher, Jacksonville, Oregon, Democrat

Leann Gallien, Aloha, Oregon, Independent

Alissa Keny-Guyer, Portland, Oregon, Democrat

Linda Shelk, Prineville, Oregon, Republican

(This information furnished by Diane Snyder, Enterprise, Oregon, Republican.)


Argument in Favor

Former Oregon election officials, Phil Keisling (Democrat) and Norma Paulus (Republican), urge YES vote on Measure 65

As former Secretaries of State, we've been responsible for making sure elections work for every single Oregonian. Our current closed primary system does not work. It prevents many Oregonians from voting in primary election contests.

Today in Oregon, 25% of registered voters–those who aren't Republicans or Democrats–are excluded from voting in partisan primaries.

THAT'S JUST NOT FAIR.

CHANGE is needed now. Measure 65 will change our general election nominating processes by opening up our primary elections to all voters.

Measure 65 would give the right to vote in the partisan primaries to ALL registered voters, including Independents – not just Democrats or Republicans.

It's important to include everyone in the political process, not just those who align themselves with one of the two major parties. But even those who are registered with one of the two parties have limited choices on their primary ballot.

That's why more than 100,000 Oregonians all across the state came together to bring Measure 65 to the ballot.

Some people will say this measure is confusing and complicated, but it's really a simple choice.

Any voter, regardless of their party registration, can vote for any candidate. Simply put: You can choose the best candidate regardless of party.

It's about inclusion and equality. The Open Primary allows ALL voters to choose the best person for the job, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the general election, regardless of party label.

It's time to open our elections to everyone.
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 65.

(This information furnished by Former Secretary of State Norma Paulus, Republican, Co-petitioner; Former Secretary of State Phil Keisling, Democrat, Co-petitioner.)


Argument in Favor

We are the 100,000 Oregon voters
who brought Measure 65 to the ballot.

We believe all voters should be treated equally in every election.

TOGETHER, we believe that everyone, not just Democrats
and Republicans, deserves the right to vote for
all offices in the primary.

MEASURE 65 is about people, not parties!

We are the proud supporters of the ONLY measure on the November 2008 ballot that is truly a citizens' initiative because it was brought to the ballot by Oregonians like you, NOT by electeds, special interest groups or people who make a career out of putting initiatives on the ballot.

JOIN US IN VOTING YES ON MEASURE 65!

Lori Callister

Mara Cogswell

Lisa Amato Craig

Howard Cutler

Theresa Maré

Mila Raphael

Deborah Sue Gordon

(This information furnished by Mara Cogswell.)


Argument in Favor

A MESSAGE FROM PAMELA ECHEVERIO,
REGISTERED INDEPENDENT
AND ONE OF 480,000 OREGONIANS EXCLUDED
FROM PARTY PRIMARY ELECTIONS:

"Running primary elections like private clubs, open only to those willing to sign up and toe a party line, is corrosive to the democratic process."

- The Oregonian Editorial Board, 3/25/2008

I've been a registered Independent for 10 years. I feel strongly about the value of Independent voters in our two-party-dominated system. Our votes help nudge Democrats and Republicans toward solutions that make sense to all voters.

But Independents can't play that important role if we aren't given a vote in party primaries.

I live in Oregon for a reason. It's a state where people don't have to sacrifice their independence or feel compelled to follow the crowd. It goes way back to the days of the pioneers. But our voting system does not reflect that same independent spirit. That's frustrating.

I don't think it's too much to ask to be able to vote for candidates in EVERY election based on the issues that matter to me: great schools, good healthcare and a safe community for my three children and grandchildren.

I don't want to have to choose between registering as either a Democrat or Republican. It's too limiting and doesn't accurately reflect my values.

But I'm not given much of a choice. Right now, if I don't choose, I give up the right to vote in the primary for U.S Senators, legislators and other important offices that make important decisions that affect my family and me.

Oregon needs an Open Primary where everyone can vote, regardless of party affiliation. Without it, our system remains stifled and limited to interests of only a few.

I know thousands of other voters feel the same way I do.

Please join me by voting YES on Measure 65. Together, we can give EVERY Oregon voter a voice.

Sincerely,

Pamela Echeverio, Registered Independent

(This information furnished by Pamela Echeverio, Registered Independent.)


Argument in Favor

DOCTORS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS SUPPORT
AN OPEN PRIMARY FOR OREGON

In our profession, we are on Oregon's healthcare frontlines. Every day we witness the results of our health care policies and know that the well-being of our fellow Oregonians very much depends on the policy decisions our political leaders make.

We strongly support pragmatic leaders who demonstrate broad accountability to ALL voters, not just the narrow interests of a few. When it comes to decisions regarding prescription drugs, healthcare costs, public health concerns and mental health care, we need thoughtful, innovative, independent-minded leaders. That's why we are joining together to support Measure 65.

Measure 65 gives every registered voter in Oregon full and equal ability, in every election, to vote for the candidate they believe is best qualified for the job, regardless of party registration.

An Open Primary would encourage more independent-minded candidates to run for office, which means a bigger pool of qualified leaders.

Join us in voting "YES" on Measure 65

Tomasz M. Beer, M.D., Oncologist

Knute Buehler, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark Garzotto, M.D., Urologic Surgeon

Julie Kim, M.D., Gastroenterologist

Laurie Lockert, Licensed Professional Counselor

Daniel Root, M.D., Sleep Medicine

Kathleen M. Roy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Christopher W. Ryan, M.D., Medical Oncologist

(This information furnished by Knute Buehler, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon.)


Argument in Favor

We are registered voters, but as independents we are not allowed to vote for many offices in the primaries.

We know the candidates, we're knowledgeable about the issues, pay taxes, and yet don't have a voice for important offices in the primaries. That's not right.

It's not right that over 480,000 voters like us are disenfranchised in the partisan primary elections just because we aren't registered as Republican or Democrat.

We shouldn't have to renounce our independence as voters just to be a part of the democratic process.

Everyone deserves the right to vote for all offices in the primary, not just Democrats and Republicans.

We are supporting Measure 65 for three important reasons:

Some speculate about the "what ifs" surrounding an Open Primary system, but the reality is simple: It's a fundamental issue about fairness and democracy.

An overwhelming majority of Oregonians wants an Open Primary system because it's the right thing to do.

Do the right thing for ALL voters. VOTE YES ON MEASURE 65.

Jon Ediger, Non-affiliated, Washington County

Sal Peralta, Independent, Yamhill County

Ken Wick, Independent, Wallowa County

(This information furnished by Ken Wick, Independent, Wallowa County.)


Argument in Favor

GET THE TRUTH.

TOP MYTHS ABOUT MEASURE 65 and Open Primaries

Myth: "This may damage the two-party system."

FACT: Political parties play an important role. Measure 65 preserves their ability to tell voters, on the ballot, whom they favor. It expands minor parties' access to the ballot. And it preserves candidates' ability to tell voters their party alignment. Measure 65 makes the party system more robust.

Myth: "Voters should just choose a party. It's the way things have always worked."

FACT: Everyone deserves the right to vote in the primary. Why should people have to join any political party to be able to vote or run?

Right now nearly half a million Oregonians must renounce their independence or their party if they want to vote in the primary for many important state offices.

That's not fair. Measure 65 changes that by treating all voters equally in every election.

Myth: "This is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist."

FACT: Right now, 25% of Oregon's registered voters don't receive a ballot for party primary elections. Their tax dollars fund an election in which they do not get to vote. That's a problem. Solve the problem. Give everyone the right to vote in the primary. It's just fair.

Myth: "This reduces choice, because minor parties don't get access to the November ballot."

FACT: Measure 65 increases choice and increases access throughout the election system. For the first time, minor parties and nonaffiliated candidates and voters run in and vote in the primary: increased access. Everyone can vote for the best from all candidates who seek the office: increased access.

That allows the November election to be a true top-two runoff. The winner will have the support of – and be responsible to -- a majority of the voters.

Oregon has had minority government for too long. Let's try majority rule for a change.

(This information furnished by Karen Whitman, Vote Yes on 65, Make Every Voter Count Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Elected leaders from around the state

— Democrats, Republicans and Independents —

agree the Open Primary is the RIGHT choice for Oregon.

As former and current elected leaders, we want to know we are being elected through a fair and democratic election process. But 25% of Oregon's registered voters -- over 480,000 people -- don't receive a ballot for partisan primary elections. In the primary elections for offices elected that way, those 480,000 people don't have a voice and they don't have a vote. That's not fair.

Measure 65 changes that by treating all voters equally in every election. It also ensures everyone can always vote for the person they think is best qualified for the job, regardless of party registration.

We support Measure 65 because every primary election VOTER - not just Democrats and Republicans – deserves the right to vote for all state offices.

An Open Primary simplifies the voting process by sending the same ballot to everyone, regardless of party affiliation. When we speak and make decisions on behalf of Oregonians, we want to represent ALL Oregonians.

Measure 65 is a fundamental issue about
fairness and democracy.

JOIN US IN VOTING YES ON MEASURE 65.

State Representative Vicki Berger

Former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Lynn Lundquist

Gussie McRobert, Gresham mayor, 1989-1999, Democrat

State Senator Rick Metsger

State Senator Frank Morse

Former Eugene Mayor Jim Torrey

(This information furnished by Karen Whitman, Vote Yes on 65, Make Every Voter Count Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak wants you to VOTE YES on Measure 65 so all voters can choose the best candidate, regardless of party affiliation.

As a former Republican and Independent, now Democrat, I know what it's like to be on all sides of the party line.

After seeing elections through the lens of these three parties, I know an Open Primary is the right choice for Oregon.

Measure 65 is about choosing the right candidate,

NOT choosing the right party.

My voting history is no secret. When I was a Republican, I bet on Republican candidates to decide what's best for my state and my country. I continued to support Republican candidates until I realized that their policies no longer upheld my values.

Now, as a registered Republican turned registered Democrat, I know how valuable it is to have the flexibility to cross party lines. I support Measure 65 because an Open Primary would allow voters to back candidates that support their values, not just their registered party.

In the current system, to get a ballot that lists the candidate that best support my ideals, I have to register with that candidate's party. If I'm not registered with one of the two major parties, like more than 480,000 other voters in Oregon, I cannot even participate in party primaries.

Measure 65 would give the right to vote in the partisan primaries to ALL registered voters, including Independents – not just Democrats or Republicans.

The time for change is NOW. Measure 65 will change our general election nominating processes by opening up our primary elections to all voters, regardless of their party registration.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 65

Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak

(This information furnished by Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak.)


Argument in Favor

BUSINESS LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE STATE
URGE "YES" ON MEASURE 65

We support Measure 65 because it will:

Measure 65 will change Oregon's nomination process for most offices so all candidates run in a single primary election, in which ALL registered voters could participate – not just Republicans and Democrats. Voters would know which political party a candidate is in and which party endorses each candidate, but they could vote for the best candidate, regardless of their party registration. The top two finishers would compete in the general election. The result is an open primary system that treats all voters equally.

Please join us in voting YES!

"It's a campaign Oregonians should support.
The state's current system is seriously flawed."

- The Oregonian Editorial Board, 3/25/2008

Joshua D. Blank, Technology, Portland

Steve Buhaly, Technology, Hillsboro

Bill Campbell, Law and Finance, Portland

Justin Delaney, Insurance, Portland

Mark Ganz, Healthcare, Portland

John D. Gray, Real Estate Development, Portland

Michael P. Hollern, Real Estate Development, Bend

Brian Lessler, Real Estate Development/Construction, Gresham

Mary McSwain, Real Estate Development/Construction, Gresham

James A. Meyer, Business Investing, Portland

Hiroshi Morihara, Green Energy Production, Gresham

Eric Parsons, Insurance and Financial Services, Portland

Mac Prichard, Communications, Portland

Steven D. Pratt, Metals Manufacturing, Portland

Bill Thorndike Jr., Manufacturing, Medford

Benjamin R. Whiteley, Insurance, Portland

(This information furnished by Bill Campbell, Law and Finance, Portland.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon's Motto: "She Flies With Her Own Wings"

In other words, we march to the tune of a different drummer. And that's a good thing.

Think about it: the Beach Bill, Bottle Bill and Vote-by-Mail. All of these are visionary pieces of the Oregon experience. Oregonians have embraced these pieces of legislation as statements of our unique and independent character.

Pragmatic, sensible politicians from both political parties brought us these innovative answers. Measure 65 will bring more of these citizens to the surface and help enhance Oregon's independent spirit.

Measure 65 will change the way we elect our leaders by infusing the system with more independent-minded voters and candidates. That means even more sensible solutions for Oregonians.

As the former co-directors of Governor Tom McCall's organization, SOLV, we saw over the years how much Oregonians want to be engaged. Whether it's volunteering to restore watersheds or registering to vote, Oregonians are passionate about their state.

Governor McCall's charge to SOLV was that it refrain from endorsing or opposing any candidate or legislative bill. We have personally abided by that charge too, for nearly 20 years. This year, we are supporting Measure 65 as citizens who dearly love our Oregon.

Right now, our system isn't giving 25% of voters a chance to participate in electing candidates in our party primary elections unless they renounce their independence and change their party registration. That's not fair to many of our citizens and it's not keeping true to the independent character of our state.

Measure 65 gives every voter in Oregon full and equal ability, in every election to vote for the candidate they believe is best qualified for the job, regardless of party registration.

Now, that's more Oregon's style.

As fellow independent-minded Oregonians, we're asking you to help restore Oregon's independent spirit.

We're asking you to vote YES ON MEASURE 65.

Jack and Jan McGowan, former Co-Directors of SOLV

(This information furnished by Jack McGowan, former Co-Director of SOLV; Jan McGowan, former Co-Director of SOLV.)


Argument in Favor

Dear Voter,

I am one of the thousands of voters who have chosen to switch parties in the past year. Why? Because when I see the opportunity to elect a good candidate, I want to do my part to get that candidate elected. And in Oregon, in many races, the voter must belong to the same party as the candidate to cast a primary vote that really matters for that candidate.

I want to be able to vote for the best candidate in
every race, every time, regardless of the party
of the candidate.

And I don't want to have to switch parties to do so.

That's why I am voting YES on Measure 65.

Right now, Oregon's primary voting system requires me, and other independent-minded voters, to register with a candidate's party if I want to have a real voice in contested party primaries.

When I was registered as an independent, I could not vote in many of the primary races. I want my voice to be heard and I want to cast a vote for the candidate who best reflects my values. I support open primaries so that I can choose the best candidate without having to limit myself to a single party.

Measure 65 makes it easier FOR EVERYONE to vote for the person they think is best suited for the job, regardless of party registration.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE 65!

Thank you,

Ashley Henry

(This information furnished by Ashley Henry.)


Argument in Favor

As young voters and community leaders in Oregon, we urge you to vote yes on Measure 65.

Young people are voting in higher numbers than ever before.

Many young voters feel disillusioned with the political process because of extreme partisanship in Salem and Washington D.C. and a lack of independent-minded candidates running for office.

We have become cynical as we watch candidates say one thing during the closed party primaries only to change their stance during the general election.

Measure 65 would change this dynamic by opening up the primary election to all voters, including a rapidly growing number of independents.

Measure 65 is a simple reform that makes sense to Oregon's young voters.

Under Measure 65, all voters could vote in the primary election, regardless of their party affiliation, and they can vote for any candidate, regardless of the candidate's party affiliation.

We're Oregon's future and we say
IT'S TIME FOR AN OPEN PRIMARY:

Please join us in voting YES ON MEASURE 65.

Jeremy Rogers

Jake Oken-Berg

Amy Garity

Oregon State Representative Ben Cannon

Erin Hesby

Jeffrey King

Julia Kelly - Echeverio

Ryland Kelly

Paige Haxton

Patrick Firth

Matt Peterson

(This information furnished by Jeremy Rogers.)


Argument in Favor

Leaders in education say YES ON MEASURE 65
and YES To Open Primaries.

As educators, we believe in the power of independent thinking and creative solutions that effectively respond to societal changes. Why should our political system be an exception?

An Open Primary system will encourage more independent-minded candidates to run for office, creating a climate for solving problems.

An Open Primary will allow every registered voter in Oregon to have the ability, in every election, to vote for the candidate they believe is best qualified for the job, regardless of party registration. As educators, we believe this will encourage candidates to speak to a wider audience of voters, and address a broader list of issues.

Measure 65 is an important step toward finding creative solutions to statewide issues.

As current and former educators, we work everyday to maintain Oregon's place as a state of innovation. From the bottle bill to land use to technology, Oregon is a place where good ideas begin. We support this in our classrooms and expect it in our staterooms. Innovation is good for Oregon's economy and Oregon's citizens. This is why we are urging you to vote YES on MEASURE 65.

SUPPORT INNOVATION &
INDEPENDENT-MINDED LEADERSHIP:
VOTE "YES" FOR MEASURE 65

Signed:
Vicky Barrows, Retired Teacher, Portland
Susie Snyder, Assistant Professor, Portland
Skip Liebertz, Retired Superintendent, Salem

(This information furnished by Vicky Barrows, Retired Teacher, Portland.)


Argument in Favor

Most Oregonians seem to agree that our political system is broken. Elections are far too partisan. Elected officials too often take political positions, instead of solving real problems.

It's not enough to change who we elect; we need to change the way we run the election system.

Measure 65 changes the election system by allowing all Oregon voters, not just political parties and the small percentage of voters who participates in primary elections, to choose the top two candidates that compete in the general election. By itself, this won't solve education, economic and other problems facing Oregon. But it will immediately change the political dynamics and increase the probability that solutions will be adopted.

When we have party primaries, candidates start by appealing only to those who actually vote in their party's closed primary. Party primary elections tend to be dominated by party activists, special interests and single-issue voters. Regular citizens are put off and usually have a low turnout. As a result, the current closed primary system tends to pick candidates at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

And then, because the November ballot is more of a free for all than a runoff, we often wind up with a winner who only gets a minority of the vote. In fact, in Oregon you can take office without ever getting a majority of the vote.

Well, government by the minority turns out to be a bad idea. It leads to excessive partisanship, political posturing and legislative logjams.

By establishing one common primary open to all voters, Measure 65 pushes candidates towards the middle ground where solutions are found. It should increase the number of reasonable, independent-minded candidates who run for office. And most important, it's much fairer to independent voters who now can't even participate in the current party primary system.

Vote Yes on Measure 65.

Brett Wilcox

(This information furnished by Brett Wilcox.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon business groups strongly support Measure 65!

Oregon Business Association, Associated Oregon Industries and Oregon Business Council are bi-partisan business organizations that represent companies, large and small, across Oregon.

Measure 65 will give everyone a voice and a vote in the
primary, no matter their party affiliation.

As business people, we know it's important that our government represents everyone in Oregon, not just Democrats and Republicans. Over 480,000 registered voters are not allowed to participate in a party primary election unless they renounce their independence and change their party registration. THAT'S WRONG. We need all of Oregon to be represented. That's why over 100,000 Oregonians across the state brought this to the ballot.

Measure 65 will allow Oregonians to vote for the
person they think is best suited for the job,
regardless of party registration.

As business people, we know making sure the best choices are available makes our businesses, and our communities, strong. Measure 65 makes it easier to vote for the best candidate, because it doesn't limit voting options based on registered party. An Open Primary puts the same ballot into the hands of every registered voter, regardless of party affiliation.

Oregon needs more independent-minded
candidates and leaders.

As business people, we believe in the power of great leaders to make innovative ideas a reality. Measure 65 will change the way we elect our leaders by infusing the system with more independent thinking. Pragmatic and sensible politicians brought us the Bottle Bill, vote-by-mail, and public beaches. Measure 65 helps restore Oregon's independent spirit.

SAY "YES" TO MEASURE 65

Associated Oregon Industries

Oregon Business Association

Oregon Business Council

(This information furnished by Ryan Deckert, President, Oregon Business Association.)


Argument in Favor

The Facts about Measure 65

1. Is Measure 65 the same as Washington State's "Open Primary" Law?
It's similar, but better. As in Washington, everyone – Democrats, Independents, Republicans – would be able to vote in all primary and general elections. That's good. But it's better than Washington's law because it provides a way for parties to endorse candidates.

2. Does it threaten minor parties' existence?
No. Minor parties will have an equal role in all elections. In order to qualify for the ballot, minor parties will need about 10,000 registrants, but that's not a bad thing. Requiring some number of supporters is a fair way to prevent ballot clutter.

3. Measure 65 will also allow cross-endorsement. Is this a good thing?
We think so. The Oregon Independent and Working Families parties recently brought an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking the right to cross-endorse, meaning a candidate could run as Democrat-Working Families or Republican-Independent. This provides valuable information to voters about who stands for what. Measure 65 would establish cross-endorsement as the law in Oregon.

4. Will Measure 65 confuse the voters?
No. It actually provides more information to voters by telling them which parties support which candidates. Oregon voters are among the nation's savviest. They will appreciate having more information about who stands for what.

5. The Democrats and Republicans oppose it. Why?
Change is always unnerving. Plus it means that state taxpayers will no longer pay for "closed" party primaries. It will require the parties to establish a new method for endorsing candidates.

6. Is it good for Democracy?
On the whole, yes. It allows all voters to participate in primary elections, provides more information to voters, and allows minor parties to play a more constructive role. One danger is that the Open Primary can give an advantage to the richest candidate, so this is only a first step. We also need solid campaign finance reform that limits the power of big money in politics.

(This information furnished by Corinne Locke, National Open Ballot Project.)


Argument in Favor

A MESSAGE FROM ALLEN ALLEY,
CANDIDATE FOR STATE TREASURER,
ABOUT

MEASURE 65:

Please Join Me In Voting Yes on Measure 65 for an Open Primary.

For much of the last two years I had the honor of serving as the (Republican) Deputy Chief of Staff for our (Democratic) Governor, Ted Kulongoski.

He gave me a free pass to bring new ideas and to help our Legislature and our agencies think in new ways. The experience was both positive and productive because it allowed competing ideas to chase the same goal of creating a climate of economic opportunity for Oregonians.

My experience in the Governor's office only underscored my long-standing support for an Open Primary.

I believe that having more people with different perspectives involved in our democratic process only helps build confidence in the decisions of our elected leaders. It expands the scope of the possible. There is great strength in having Republican, Democratic, and independent voices all at the table. It allows candidates of all parties to make their case and allows all of the voters in Oregon to choose.

Fully one-third of Oregon voters have elected not to affiliate with a political party, but their voices are every bit as important as those who do. No candidate can win an election without the support of independent voters so it makes no sense to shut them out of a primary election designed to narrow the field to the most qualified candidates.

Elections ensure that candidates are listening to voters and remind them that they are ultimately accountable to Oregonians in every corner of our great state. And that's the point. The decisions of our leaders should be judged by all voters. Closed primaries cannot reflect the will of all voters, only a percentage of them.

My experience tells me that better decisions are made with everybody participating.

Please join me by voting YES on Measure 65.

(This information furnished by Allen Alley, Friends of Allen Alley.)