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Election Eve: Ballots streaming into C.O. county clerks


Ballot returns over the weekend indicate that voter turnout is at 29.3 percent as of 8 AM Monday, the Oregon Elections Division reported. That means 106,534 Oregonians dropped off ballots over the weekend leading up to Election Day Tuesday.

In Deschutes County, about 36 percent of ballots had been returned as of Monday afternoon. In Crook County, it was up to 45 percent by late Monday, surpassing the last two presidential primaries, and 37 percent as of Monday morning in Jefferson County.

Voters have until 8 p.m.Tuesday to get their ballots to an official ballot drop box or a county clerk’s office. Voters can look up their closest official ballot drop box

There was steady traffic at the drop box on Wall Street in Bend all day Monday.

“Important issues,” one voter said. “Everybody needs to vote.”

“It feels great to vote,” said another voter. “Our whole family voted. All five of us.”

It’s already a record breaking year for Deschutes County, with the highest voter registration numbers ever.

“It’s an unprecedented amount of work that we’ve processed over the last few months,” said County Clerk Nancy Blankenship.

Blankenship said 30 percent of new voters are due to the Motor Voter bill, which took effect on the first of the year and automatically registers all news driver’s license recipients.

This year’s unusual presidential race also has many anxious to weigh in.

“It feels like everyone is paying attention this time around, and young people are getting involved,” a voter said. “It’s awesome.”

Blankenship said she is expecting around 50 to 60 percent of ballots returned by the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline

“Even more than what you see before any general election that we’ve had in recent history,” Blankenship said.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, 673,050 ballots had been cast across the state. There are 2,293,221 eligible voters in this year’s election, including over 100,000 new voters registered this year.

“At the current rate of voting, Oregon would be on track to have more than one million votes cast in a primary election for just the second time in state history,” said Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins.

“The last time one million votes were cast in a primary election in Oregon was 2008. Like this year’s primary, the 2008 election included an open presidential race and competitive statewide primary races. I hope this historic election motivates Oregonians to get their ballots in during these final days.”

If voter turnout reaches 51.1 percent this year, it would set a new record in Oregon for votes cast in a primary election. View the full report, including breakdown by countyhere.

Through Sunday, Crook County had reported a ballot return of 37.8 percent, Deschutes 34.2 percent and Jefferson 30.1 percent.

“Voters need to know that while it’s too late to mail in their ballot, county clerks are ready to help with drop boxes located around the state,” said Atkins. “Many people still wait until Election Day to turn in their ballot. That’s okay. Just make sure and have a plan to get your ballot in and have your voice heard in this historic election.”

Ballots must be received by your county clerk no later than 8:00 P.M. on May 17, 2016. Postmarks do not count and in almost all cases around the state it is too late to put a ballot in the mail. Voters can look up their closest official ballot drop box Oregonians can find contact information for their county clerk

Historical data on ballot returns by day can be found on the Secretary of State’s websitehere. The next update on ballot returns will be published tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM.

The Oregon Secretary of State’s office will begin posting unofficial election results tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on a resultswebpage. These results will include returns for the presidential races, statewide races, legislative races, and statewide judicial races. For county and municipal races, results will be posted on the correlating county’s elections website. Find a list of Oregon’s county clerks and their websites

All election results are unofficial until the election is certified by the Secretary of State’s Office no later than June 16 th . Voters can confirm that their ballot was received at

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