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Candidates can represent more than one party on the ballot

I noticed on my ballot some of the candidates were listed with more than one party. Gov. Kitzhaber, for example, was listed as Democrat and Working Families and others with three parties. I feel kind of dopey but, I thought people could only belong to one party at a time. — Chris G., Central Point

We don't think you're dopey, Chris. Not Grumpy either, but maybe a little Sleepy? Sorry, wandered off into fairy tale land there for a moment.

But what you've noticed is no fairy tale. Candidates can be on the ballot representing more than one political party. They cannot be registered as a member of more than one party, but there is nothing in state or local election law that prohibits them from being listed on the general election ballot as representing more than one party. That is up to the voters of that party, whether through the primary election or a nominating convention.

An example of that is in the Jackson County Board of Commissioners election, in which Colleen Roberts, a Republican, earned her party's nomination and enough write-in votes from Democrats to secure that nomination as well (there was no Democrat listed on the primary ballot). An Independent Party candidate, Keven Talbert, is also on the general election ballot in that race.

State election law does note that while a candidate may be nominated by more than one party, he or she cannot list more than three of those parties on the ballot.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.