For political junkies, these are the dog days of summer. Even the most maniacal candidates are resting up after July 4th parades, content in the knowledge that they have only a few county fairs before election season begins in earnest after Labor Day.
The Independent Party of Oregon, however, is busy. The IPO, which formed in 2007 out of frustration with the dominance of the two major parties, is on the cusp of registering is 100,000th member. The most recent figures from the elections division show 99,188 Oregonians belong to the party (for context, there are 820,000 registered Democrats; 650,000 Republicans and 491,000 voters unaffiliated with any party).
Here's the release IPO Secretary Sal Peralta sent out this morning:
The polls have now opened for the Independent Party of Oregon's 2014 Primary Election and Member Survey. From now through July 19th, IPO members will be able to go to www.indparty.com/vote to download and prepare their ballot.
Thirty seven candidates will be competing for the IPO nomination, which includes 12 contested races. The IPO ballot includes candidates in some of the most tightly contested legislative races in the state as well as the Oregon Governor's race. There are three races (Jackson County Commissioner, Position 3; Oregon House, District 25; and Oregon Senate, District 16) where the winner of the IPO nomination will face a candidate who would otherwise have been unopposed on the November ballot.
The election software allows IPO members to prepare their ballot, which must then be printed and signed. It can be returned via email, personal delivery, or US mail.
Winners of the IPO Primary Election will be able to list the Independent Party label after their name on the November ballot.
A full list of candidates is available here.
The IPO Voter's Guide, which has been mailed to the households of all IPO members is available here.
The election will be open from today, July 7 through July 19 at 5 pm.
This is the third statewide primary election conducted by the Independent Party of Oregon. The IPO is the first political party in the United States to conduct Internet-based elections and the first political party in Oregon in more than 100 years to conduct its own primary elections.