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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.

Oregon Voters Reject Top-Two Primary

Chris Phan
Flickr -

Oregon voters have rejected a top two primary. Measure 90 would have created a nonpartisan primary for all candidates.

The top two would have advanced to the general election, regardless of party. It was defeated by a two-to-one margin.

The defeat came despite a massive influx of out-of-state money. Backers of Measure 90 raised more than $5 million. They said opening up the primaries to all voters would allow more input from the growing number of Oregonians who don't affiliate with either major political party.

But Democrats and Republicans said Measure 90 would have given too much power to primary voters. They also said it could have left some voters with two choices from the same political party in the general election.

A similar measure was also rejected by Oregon voters in 2008. Washington and California already use versions of the top two primary.