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Oregon Voters Reject Top-Two Primary

Chris Phan

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

File photo of the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem.
Credit Chris Phan / Flickr
File photo of the Oregon State Capitol

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.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.