Fusion Voting in Oregon

At The Portland Observer, Jake Thomas reports on the fate of Oregon House Bill 2414, which would effectively ensure a fusion style ballot system similar to that in New York by allowing ballots to list the names of up to three political parties which have endorsed a given candidate for office. The measure passed the State House with broad support, but is now held up in committee. Thomas provides some background:
The bill stems from a lawsuit filed last year by the Independents against the secretary of state over the candidacy of Joel Haugen, a Republican challenger in the Oregon's first congressional district. Haugen, who endorsed Barack Obama, got the nod from Independents, but the secretary refused to put the party label on the ballot alongside the Republicans.
Though the bill stems directly from the lawsuit filed by the Oregon Independent Party, it is strongly supported by Oregon's other minor parties, and is a major plank in the agenda of the Oregon Working Families Party. The National Open Ballot Project currently identifies the Oregon House bill as well as a similar measure in Maine as top priorities among its state campaigns. Though once widespread, fusion voting is currently legal in only seven states, and its prohibition undoubtedly figures in the maintenance of the duopoly system of government.

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