A new party in Oregon, called the Independent Party, turned in approximately 26,000 signatures on December 6, 2006. The state will know if the party has enough valid signatures by January 20, 2007 or so. The Independent Party seems to be either centrist or somewhat “progressive” and wants to stiffen Oregon campaign finance laws. It also wants to make it easier for independent candidates to get on the ballot. Because the 2005 session of the Oregon legislature made it much more difficult for independent candidates to get on the ballot, the existence of the Independent Party offers a second vehicle for such potential candidates in the future. Also, the 2005 session of the legislature passed HB 2167, which says that in the future, independent candidates are to be labeled “Non-affiliated Voter” on the November ballot, not “independent candidate”. So, there was no problem with the Oregon Independent Party’s name being rejected as too similar to the term “independent candidate”.