Why Are Democrats and Republicans In This Contest?
When a candidate is nominated by more than one political party, that is referred to as "cross-nomination." Some Republicans and Democrats are seeking the Independent Party cross-nomination. They have told us that, if nominated by the members of the Independent Party, they will use the Independent Party label in addition to the major party name on the general election ballot. They can list more than one nominating party on the ballot under the ballot design changes adopted by the 2009 Oregon Legislature.
Because of the overwhelming interest in the Independent Party nominations and cross-nominations, the Nominating Caucus accepted all timely filed requests for cross-nomination by Democratic and Republican candidates.
What is Cross-nomination?
"Cross-nomination" is a term used when a candidate accepts the nomination of more than one political party. "Nomination" is the official act of a recognized political party which places the name of a candidate on the general election ballot. A candidate must formally accept the nomination of a minor political party by filling out a form with the Secretary of State.
"Nomination" or "cross-nomination" is not the same as an "endorsement." Endorsement has no statutory definition, and it has come to mean some sort of approval process by a person or group.
Is Cross-Nomination a New Idea?
No, it is the Oregon tradition. In Oregon, candidates could always be nominated by more than one political party.
Sometimes the same candidate wins her own primary and also wins the other major party primary by write-in votes. She is cross-nominated. Sometimes a minor party and a major party nominate the same candidate, using their own nomination processes. For example, Oregon Governor Pennoyer was nominated by both the Democrats and the Peoples Party (populists) in 1894.
For most of the first hundred years of statehood, Oregon ballots would show such multiple nominations, but the ballot design was changed in 1954 to show only one party nomination on the general election ballot.
In 2009 the Legislature changed the design of the November general election ballots so that a candidate who has accepted more than one party nomination may list up to 3 such nominations on the ballot.
Can I Write-In Another Choice?
Yes. You can write in the name of someone who did not apply for nomination. The write-in votes will be counted. If a write-in candidate receives the highest number of votes cast in a race, that person will be declared the winner. He or she will have the choice of accepting the nomination. The Secretary of State will apply the statutory standards to consider whether that candidate will appear on the ballot (such as a residency requirement for a Legislature candidate, if applicable).