Taking the letters R and D, along with the rest of the alphabet out of Lincoln County Commission election politics…
Lincoln County Commissioners say it may be time to ensure that all Lincoln County voters have equal say in selecting not only the winners but also the candidates for Lincoln County Commission. The commission is asking Lincoln County voters to consider dropping the county’s long-running partisan nomination process which currently gives Democrats and Republicans a far louder voice in the candidate nominating process than those who are not members of either party.
Under today’s rules, candidates for county commission must be either a Democrat or a Republican to get their name on the Primary Election ballot. And, likewise, only voters who are registered as Democrat or Republican can vote for a county commission candidate in the Primary. After the Primary, anyone else wanting get their name on the General Election ballot in November must gather hundreds of voter signatures to qualify.
County commissioners are opening the door to change, if that’s what the voters want. The commissioners are holding two public hearings this month to discuss whether all three county commission positions should become completely non-partisan. Anyone can run in the Primary and everyone can vote in the Primary to cull the herd to two candidates for each position. And everyone can vote in the General Election to pick the winner(s). Commissioners say nearly a quarter of Lincoln County voters are kept out of the candidate selection process for county commission since they are neither Democrat or Republican. By making commission positions non-partisan, the reasoning is that it would make it more fair for all candidates and all voters to participate in the complete process of selecting commissioners.
The public hearings are set for February 13 and 20, 9:30am in the Board of Commissioners meeting room. Letters of support or opposition to the change can also be mailed to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at 225 West Olive Street, Room 100, Newport, OR, 97365.