Major political parties in Oregon hold primary elections to choose candidates to represent them in general elections. Oregon law allows major political parties to decide whether to hold open or closed primary elections 90 days before the Primary Election.
Closed party primary
Voters registered with the major party holding the primary election can participate in its primary election. Candidates listed on a primary nominating ballot for a major political party are limited to those registered with that political party. Voters who wish to vote for candidates in the major party must register with the major party by the Voter Registration and Party Change Deadline, 21 days before the Primary Election Day.
Open party primary (if major party opens their primary)
If the major party chooses to open their primary (90 days prior to the primary), the primary election may be opened up to all nonaffiliated voters in the state, as well as those voters registered as members of that party. If the major party opens their primary, voters who wish to participate in a party’s open primary must make a written request to the Multnomah County Elections Division for an open primary ballot before the Voter Registration and Party Change Deadline, 21 days before Primary Election Day.
If the major party (Democratic or Republican party) does not open the primary, candidates listed on a primary nominating ballot for a major political party are limited to those registered with that political party. Voters who wish to vote in the Democratic or Republican closed primary elections need to be registered as a member of that party by the voter registration/party change deadline, 21 days before Primary Election Day.
Oregon’s minor political parties (see list below) each have their own method for choosing their candidates for the November General Election.
Partisan offices on the ballot in Multnomah County for a primary election (where only members of the Democratic or Republican party can vote on their major party candidates) can include the following:
- US President
- US Senate
- US Representative of Congress
- Secretary of State
- State Treasurer
- Attorney General
- State Senate
- State Representative
There is no cost or membership fees to be part of a political party. You can change your party selection any time by updating your registration at oregonvotes.gov/myvote or by filling out a new Oregon Voter Registration Card. However, if you want to receive a ballot for a major party’s primary election you must make changes to party selection no later than the Voter Registration and Party Change Deadline, 21 days before Primary Election Day.
There are two major political parties and six minor political parties in Oregon. You can choose to be a member of a party, or you can choose to not be a member of a party (nonaffiliated).
Major political parties
Democratic Party - dpo.org
Republican Party - oregon.gop
Minor political parties
Constitution Party - constitutionpartyoregon.net
Independent Party - indparty.com
Libertarian Party - lporegon.org
Pacific Green Party - pacificgreens.org
Progressive Party - progparty.org
Working Families Party - workingfamilies.org/states/oregon
If you have questions or would like more information about closed primary elections and other elections processes, please visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website at oregonvotes.gov or call 1.866.673.VOTE (8683).
For Voter Education and Outreach support please contact Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-VOTE (8683) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**The Voter Education and Outreach Program does not provide support at political events and is entirely nonpartisan. Multnomah County Elections does not endorse or discuss any particular candidates or measures.