Frequently Asked Questions

How do minor parties differ from major parties?

Minor parties, while also regulated by Oregon Revised Statutes 248, 254, and 260, have fewer rules. Minor parties control their own primary elections — though the major parties have the option to do the same — and have fewer reporting requirements.

Minor parties, in order to maintain their ballot access, must do one of two things:

  1. Garner enough votes in a statewide race. A candidate who receives at least one percent of the votes cast in the last governor's race maintains Party access for two years; receive 1.5% and maintain ballot access for four years; OR
  2. Gain a large enough number (about 11,000) of registered Party voters. Once the number of registered voters exceeds that number, the Party becomes a major party and is subject to the additional rules.
When is our primary?

The primary takes place in each election the Saturday immediately following the state-run primary election of the major parties.

Can I participate in the primary?

Yes, if you attend the statewide nominating convention at the time and place announced.

Won't I waste my vote?

What does waste my vote mean?

You will have voted. It could only be considered wasting a vote if the party nominateed candidates that competed with an equally good candidate of another party — something the CPO has determined not to do.

It is our hope to put forth candidates in districts where there would otherwise be no good choice, either because no one ran, or because the one who won is not the best person for the office — or simply needs the competition in order to stand out.

What does the Constitution Party support?

See our Principles, Mission, and Platform.

Does have a candidate have to be a member of the CPO?

No. We are looking for candidates with character, integrity, and courage, no matter what party they claim. And we may endorse candidates at any time, even for nonpartisan races.

However, by state law, in order for us to nominate a candidate outside the party in our primary, that candidate must have won his or her own party nomination. Since our primary takes place after the statewide election, we have several days in which to determine this.

In addition, a Party candidate must achieve a certain vote count in a statewide race biennially in order to maintain the Party's ballot access.

Can I run?

Anyone can declare him- or herself a candidate for any position with any party at any time, simply by registering with the Secretary of State as such.

To receive the nomination of the CPO, however, a candidate must sign our Pledge, indicating his or her agreement with our Principles.

Once the nomination process is complete, a candidate becomes our nominee and receives the official support of the Party.

How can I help to grow the Party?

By speaking up about our (and hopefully your) principles, by encouraging others to register to vote as a member of the Party, and by suggesting or putting yourself forward as a candidate.

Of course, working to accomplish Constitutional goals in the legislature is good also.

How can I become a PCP?

The Constitution Party of Oregon has PCPs just like other parties. You may become one by joining with others in your county to form a county party.

This happens officially on the last Saturday in April of even years but, with the approval of the chair, who appoints an organizing chair, can be done at any time.