Bradbury encourages presidential candidates to visit Oregon
Mar 07,2008 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
SALEM, Ore. -- With the election results from March 4 showing that the Democratic nomination for president is still up in the air, Oregon is poised to become an important state for both candidates. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury today invited Senators Clinton and Obama to spend as much time in Oregon as possible.

"Sure, our primary is still two and a half months away, but since our ballots are mailed out in early May, the candidates shouldn't wait until the last minute to campaign here," Bradbury says. "Besides, springtime in Oregon can't be beat."

"Our doors are wide open," he added. "I urge all of the candidates for president to pay us multiple visits. Let's spend some quality time and get to know each other."

Many observers believed that the nominations for both parties would be decided on February 5 (aka "Woozy Tuesday"), when 24 states voted. But on the Democratic side, the race is still very close, bringing intense focus on the few remaining states--including Oregon.

The primary in Oregon is a "closed" primary, meaning that voters can only vote for the party they are registered with. Non-affiliated voters can't vote in party primaries. The last day to register to vote in the primary--or to change party affiliation--is April 29. Any changes to party affiliation must arrive in county elections offices by that date.

Ballots will be mailed out beginning on May 2.

"I'm thrilled that the high primary turnouts we've seen in other states, especially among young voters, will translate here as the campaigns focus on Oregon voters," Bradbury says.

Oregon is one of the last states to hold its primary this year, due to dozens of states moving up their primaries to January and February. But instead of being too late to matter, Oregon could now very well play a major role in determining the Democratic nominee for president.

Still, the chaos of the primary calendar illustrates the need for a major reform in the system. Secretary Bradbury, the National Association of Secretaries of State and many others have called for the implementation of a Rotating Regional Primary system to add some fairness and predictability to the process.