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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Major Parties Oppose Oregon's Top Two Primary Ballot Measure

The Citizens Initiative Review, a group of Oregon voters brought together to consider the pros and cons of a Top Two primary system, have issued their recommendation: They're against it.

That puts them in the same camp as both major political parties in Oregon.

Few things unite Democrats and Republicans. Especially at election time. But this year both parties have come out against Oregon's Measure 90. If it passes, any partisan general election could end up with two Democrats or two Republicans on the ballot. And everyone would get to vote in the primaries -- without having to register with a party.

Greg Leo, a Republican strategist who's leading the GOP's effort to fight the measure, said the Top Two primary would create political chaos.

"A lot of people now understand through the political process what it means to be a Republican and to be a Democrat, what candidates can be expected to be like under the current system,” he said. “This really kind of scrambles it and makes it very confusing."

Supporters of the measure say open primaries offer choices to more voters including the nearly one-third who aren't part of a major party.