Saturday, April 29, 2006

Oregon: Primary ballots in the mail--don't vote if you want to sign Ben Westlund's independent gov petition...

Watch your mailbox: Ballots going out today
By David StevesThe Register-GuardFriday, April 28, 2006...This year's primary has a new wrinkle for voters who want to sign petitions for independent candidates, such as gubernatorial hopeful Ben Westlund: They no longer can sign one if they participate in a major-party primary.
John Lindback, state elections director, said the new policy is meant to prevent voters from participating in multiple nominating processes. Even if a voter leaves blank the Democratic or Republican choices for governor or other partisan offices, and only votes for nonpartisan candidates and measures, his or her signature would not be valid on an independent candidate's nominating petition.
Westlund must collect 18,386 signatures by the end of August.
Given the new restriction on signatures from primary voters, Westlund probably will need to rely on nonaffiliated voters, who make up about 22 percent of the electorate, said Stacey Dycus, Westlund's campaign manager.
The only way for registered Democrats and Republicans to have their signatures count on a Westlund petition would be not to participate in the upcoming primary election. But Dycus said Westlund strongly discouraged such action, even if it means fewer supporters can help nominate him to the general-election ballot. .... more

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