2013 ORS § 248.008¹
Qualification as minor political party
  • party member registration requirement
  • eligibility to nominate candidates
  • maintenance of status as minor political party
  • loss of status as minor party

(1) An affiliation of electors becomes a minor political party in the state, a county or other electoral district, qualified to make nominations for public office in that electoral district and in any other electoral district wholly contained within the electoral district, when the affiliation of electors has acted as described in either paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection:

(a)(A) When the affiliation of electors has filed with the Secretary of State a petition with the signatures of at least a number of electors equal to one and one-half percent of the total votes cast in the electoral district for all candidates for Governor at the most recent election at which a candidate for Governor was elected to a full term.

(B) The petition must contain only original signatures and must be filed not later than two years following the date the prospective petition is filed. The petition must state the intention to form a new political party and designate a name for the political party.

(C) Before circulating the petition, the chief sponsor of the petition must file with the Secretary of State a signed copy of the prospective petition. The chief sponsor must include with the prospective petition a statement declaring whether one or more persons will be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on the petition. After the prospective petition is filed, the chief sponsor must notify the filing officer not later than the 10th day after the chief sponsor first has knowledge or should have had knowledge that:

(i) Any person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement included with the prospective petition declared that no person would be paid for obtaining signatures of electors.

(ii) No person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement included with the prospective petition declared that one or more persons would be paid for obtaining signatures of electors.

(D) The circulator shall certify on each signature sheet that the circulator witnessed the signing of the signature sheet by each individual whose signature appears on the signature sheet and that the circulator believes each individual is an elector registered in the electoral district.

(E) The Secretary of State shall verify whether the petition contains the required number of signatures of electors. The Secretary of State may not accept a petition for filing if it contains less than 100 percent of the required number of signatures. The Secretary of State by rule shall designate a statistical sampling technique to verify whether a petition contains the required number of signatures of electors. A petition may not be rejected for the reason that it contains less than the required number of signatures unless two separate sampling processes both establish that the petition lacks the required number of signatures. The second sampling must contain a larger number of signatures than the first sampling. The Secretary of State may employ professional assistance to determine the sampling technique. The statistical sampling technique may be the same as that adopted under ORS 250.105 (Petition filing requirements).

(b) When the affiliation of electors has polled for any one of its candidates for any public office in the electoral district at least one percent of the total votes cast in the electoral district for all candidates for:

(A) Presidential elector at the last general election at which candidates for President and Vice President of the United States were listed on the ballot; or

(B) Any single state office to be voted upon in the state at large for which nominations by political parties are permitted by law at the most recent election at which a candidate for the office was elected to a full term.

(2) After satisfying either subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section, the minor political party may nominate candidates for election at the next general election.

(3) A filing officer may not accept a certificate of nomination of a candidate nominated by a minor political party for a subsequent general election unless the minor political party has maintained status as a minor political party as described in subsection (4) of this section.

(4) In order to maintain status as a minor political party for a subsequent general election:

(a) Following each general election, at any time during the period beginning on the date of the next primary election and ending on the 90th day before the next general election, a number of electors equal to at least one-half of one percent of the total number of registered electors in this state must be registered as members of the party; or

(b)(A) Following each general election, at any time during the period beginning on the date of the next primary election and ending on the 90th day before the next general election, a number of electors equal to at least one-tenth of one percent of the total votes cast in the state or electoral district for all candidates for Governor at the most recent election at which a candidate for Governor was elected to a full term must be registered as members of the party; and

(B) At least once in a four-year period, a candidate or candidates of the party must poll at least one percent of the total votes cast in the electoral district for all candidates for:

(i) Presidential elector at the last general election at which candidates for President and Vice President of the United States were listed on the ballot; or

(ii) Any single state office to be voted upon in the state at large for which nominations by political parties are permitted by law at the most recent election at which a candidate for the office was elected to a full term.

(5) An affiliation of electors that fails to maintain status as a minor political party ceases to be a minor political party on the 90th day before the date of the next general election.

(6) During the period beginning on the date of the primary election and ending on the 90th day before the date of the general election, the Secretary of State shall determine at least once each month whether registration requirements to maintain status as a minor political party have been satisfied.

(7) If a minor political party changes its name, only those electors who register on or after the effective date of the name change as members of the party under the new party name shall be counted as members of the party.

(8) An affiliation of electors or a minor political party may not nominate a candidate who is the nominee of another political party at the same election in order to satisfy the one percent requirement referred to in subsection (1)(b) or (4)(b)(B) of this section.

(9) For purposes of this section, subsequent general election means any general election that is held after the first general election following qualification as a minor political party under subsection (1) of this section. [1979 c.190 §70; 1983 c.756 §5; 1989 c.68 §1; 1989 c.923 §27; 1993 c.797 §§2,2a; 1995 c.606 §3; 1995 c.712 §16; 1997 c.287 §1; 1999 c.318 §23; 2001 c.331 §1; 2001 c.721 §3; 2007 c.848 §22; 2009 c.511 §4; 2013 c.517 §1]