Oregon Independent Party launches online, STAR voting primary

The Independent Party of Oregon begins its primary on Tuesday, and this year it will be done using an online portal.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 5:00 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2020 9:39 AM

SALEM, Ore. — While registered Democrats and Republicans in Oregon are still a few days away from receiving their primary ballots, the Independent Party of Oregon says that it will hold its own primary beginning on Tuesday — entirely online.

Independents and non-affiliated voters will be able to visit the party's website in order to cast votes in a binding election to pick nominees for Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and take part in the party's "Presidential Preference poll."

"The state will spend more than $3 million to conduct the Democratic and Republican primaries using a familiar election method that draws massive media attention," said IPO Secretary, Sal Peralta, the architect of previous online elections for the party. "By contrast, this election will be a totally new process for most voters and many/most will not be aware that it is happening or that they are eligible."

Non-affiliated voters in particular make up a significant number of registered voters in Oregon and are outstripped only by registered Democrats. According to the state's 2019 voter registration data, Oregon had 970,284 Democrats, 955,801 non-affiliated voters, 701,970 Republicans, and 124,306 Independents.

Though both Democrats and Republicans hold closed primaries — open only to registered members of the party — the Independent Party typically allows non-affiliated Oregonians to vote in its primary.

For this primary, the Independent Party is using a method called STAR Voting, "the brainchild of Eugene entrepreneur, Mark Frohnmayer." With the STAR system, voters will be able to rank their candidates in order to vote for their preferred candidates without a "spoiler."

"It is the only chance for Independent and non-affiliated voters to select candidates for statewide office or express their preference for President in 2020," the Independent Party said. "As such, it will be an interesting bell-weather to gauge the relative support of all candidates among Oregon Independent and non-affiliated voters for statewide offices and for President."

The election ballot for Secretary of State includes Independent Party member Ken Smith; non-affiliated candidate Rich Vial; Democrats Mark Hass, Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Shemia Fagan; and Republican Kim Thatcher.

Running for Oregon State Treasurer are Independent Party member Chris Henry, Democrat Tobias Read and Republican Jeff Gudman.


CLICK HERE for a full list of candidates in the Independent Party primary


The Independent primary will remain open to Independents and non-affiliated voters from April 28 until May 12.

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Umatilla12736125
Douglas10795188
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Yamhill752099
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Polk629171
Malheur485567
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Jefferson315347
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Union274838
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Crook213639
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Baker176123
Morrow168621
Curry167817
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Harney82319
Grant7848
Lake6988
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

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San Joaquin975341615
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Tulare73111896
San Mateo52311607
San Francisco52008605
Monterey49485565
Solano44247312
Santa Barbara43189500
Sonoma39476378
Merced39446536
Placer36612364
Imperial34285755
Kings30179285
San Luis Obispo28351313
Madera21749263
Butte21379231
Shasta20763279
Santa Cruz20176211
Yolo19192239
Marin17127242
El Dorado16037127
Sutter13122153
Napa1228795
Yuba928061
Nevada850185
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Tehama827784
San Benito709567
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Tuolumne616993
Lake605887
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Calaveras342766
Del Norte339034
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