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Voting Kicks Off In Independent Party's Online Primary

Voting gets underway Thursday in Oregon’s first-ever internet primary. The statewide contest is only open to registered members of the Independent Party. Chris Lehman reports.

Each of the roughly 55,000 members of the Independent Party will receive a unique code to enter at a secure online voting site.

More than 85 candidates are seeking the party’s nomination for governor, Congress, or the legislature. Most are members of other parties, including Democrats and Republicans.

A new Oregon law allows candidates to list nominations from as many as three parties on the ballot.

Independent Party Secretary Sal Peralta says Oregon’s first-ever internet primary will cast a wider net than a traditional minor party convention.

Sal Peralta: “Rather than having a small number of people claiming to speak for 55-thousand, we thought we’d just let our members who want to participate speak for themselves.”

The Independent Party is by far the largest and fastest-growing of Oregon’s minor parties. Some skeptics say it’s because voters think they’re signing up to be unaffiliated with any party.

Voting in the Independent Party primary runs through July 30th.