Let's make Deschutes County Commissioner seats and elections nonpartisan.

Primaries bring major party politics into local politics due to low voter turnout and those who do vote lean politically, either far left or far right. This results in the election of fringe candidates. Three ways to fix that - change state law, increase voter turnout or no local primary.

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Want to know more? Measure 9-148 Handout

What does a partisan county commissioner election mean?

It means that the major parties, Democrats and Republicans, hold primaries in May and the winners compete for our votes in November in the general election.


Who benefits from a partisan county commissioner election?

Only the winning candidates of the major political parties benefit after May and the winner and their party, Democrat or Republican, benefit after November. These two parties each include a little over 30% of the voting public in Deschutes County.


Why is this a problem?

It is not inclusive voting. The largest number of voters, just over 40% in Deschutes County, are not affiliated with either Democrat or Republican parties. Oregon state has closed primaries. Therefore, voters who are not affiliated with either major party are completely excluded from voting for any County Commissioners in the primaries. Deschutes County Commissioners are not seen on nonaffiliated voters' ballots until November.

Help campaign for Yes on M9-148 or contribute ==========================>

In May 2021, our goal was to collect 5,766 valid signatures. Our first filing: left to right, Michael Lui of County Clerk's office, Mimi Alkire & Susan Cobb, NCCC Chief Petitioners and County Commissioner Phil Chang, NCCC Treasurer. Over 90 circulators from Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver & Black Butte collected >7,000 signatures as of August 2022.


At Drake Park in Bend, on October 18, 2021, we had an event which included retired Tillamook County Commissioner Mark Labhart, past Deschutes Co. Commissioner Tammy Baney & Deschutes Co. Commissioner Phil Chang. They presented positions and fielded questions in an informational forum on the citizens' initiative petition to Make the Deschutes County Commissioner seats and elections nonpartisan. Watch full event video.