Independent Party of Oregon Will Use STAR Voting In 2020 Primary Election, Open to all Independent and Non-Affiliated Voters

In a historic milestone for election reform, this May, Oregon’s largest bloc of voters will use STAR Voting in its first major governmental election. 

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Eugene, Oregon, April 7, 2020—The Independent Party of Oregon will use STAR Voting in its 2020 May Primary Election, the first time in history that voters will have the opportunity to use the innovative new voting method in a statewide political election, the Equal Vote Coalition announced today. Voting will open on April 28th and close on May 12th, and will feature nominations for statewide offices as well as a Presidential Preference Poll.

“This is truly a milestone in election reform, continuing a long tradition of trailblazing electoral efforts in the state of Oregon,” said Mark Frohnmayer, founder of the Equal Vote Coalition. “The STAR Voting method, invented here in Oregon, offers best-in-class representational accuracy, simplicity, familiarity and expressiveness for voters, as well as transparency of election results. STAR Voting eliminates the spoiler effect and allows voters to honestly express their true preferences without fear of wasting their votes.”

More than one million voters are eligible to vote in the Independent Party primary, including registered members of the Independent Party of Oregon and those not affiliated with any political party. In total, this represents the largest voting bloc in the state, greater than the number of registered voters in either of the state’s major political parties.

"We are thrilled to be the first organization to conduct a binding election using STAR Voting," said Independent Party Co-Chair Rob Harris. "Our hope is to use our election to show voters that how we vote in America is not set in stone.  It is a matter of choice. The current system has led to a divided and dysfunctional government. We would like to show people that other, better, options are available."

In STAR, which stands for “Score Then Automatic Runoff,” voters score each candidate on a familiar 0-5 scale. The winner is the majority favorite between the two highest scoring candidates overall. STAR Voting represents a nationally viable alternative to the traditional “Choose-Only-One” voting method, which election experts have identified as the key factor leading to two party polarization in American politics. Choose-Only-One voting is highly susceptible to the vote-splitting “spoiler effect,” which leads to strategic “lesser evil” voting and magnifies the influence of money in the political process. 

STAR Voting continues a long tradition of Oregon firsts in election reform. In 1998, Oregon pioneered Vote-by-Mail, which was followed by “Motor Voter” automatic voter registration in 2016. Oregon now consistently ranks as a national leader in voter turnout. In 1902 Oregon was the first state in the country to implement a ballot initiative and referendum process, known then as “The Oregon System,” which was widely adopted across the country.

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The Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) Primary will be officiated by our very own STAR Voting Implementation Team, the same team that successfully piloted STAR Voting for the upcoming Democratic Party of Oregon's Presidential Delegate Selection elections. We have been able to offer these incredible services at no cost to a number of organizations thanks to incredible contributions from dozens of highly trained, highly competent, and extremely dedicated volunteers who believe in this cause. Still, unless we can secure dedicated funding for hosting this massive election we risk pulling our top volunteers away from our other high-priority action items.

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This is an All-Hands-On-Deck moment!

  • Help us hire election staffers to lead our credentialing team.
  • Volunteer to join the credentialing team and verify voter registrations from the comfort of your own living room.
  • Between April 28th and May 12th we will need dozens of staffers and volunteers to help process voters through the credentialing and verification process before we can accept their ballots.
  • Volunteering on the credentialing team will be one of the most critical, impactful, and straightforward volunteer opportunities we have ever offered. Please sign up now and help us make history.
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P.O. Box 51243, Eugene, OR, 97405

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