Elections, politics, Washington County

County turnout is 64.2% four days from election’s end

A 24-hour ballot drop site at the Banks Public Library. Photo: Chas Hundley

Oregon’s voters will likely surpass the total number of ballots cast in the 2018 midterm election this evening.

At 8:55 a.m., Friday morning, the state said that 1,806,172 ballots had been cast statewide, representing a 61.2% turnout. In 2018, there were 1,873,891 votes cast, for a total turnout of 67.8% of registered voters. 

Washington County voters have turned in 243,434 ballots as of 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 30, according to the Washington County Elections office, which represents about 64.2% of eligible voters in the county.

Broken down by the four largest registered voting groups, as of the statewide count on Friday morning (which does not reflect the more recently updated totals directly from Washington County), Washington County had 148,880 eligible Democrats, of which 111,730 have voted for a total turnout of 75.05%; 129,468 non-affiliated voters, of which 62,453 have voted, for a turnout of 48.24%, 83,918 Republicans; of which 54,913 have voted for a turnout of 65.44%, and 17,004 Independents, of which 10,827 have voted for a turnout of 63.67%. 

Those who have turned in a ballot and are seeking to find out if it has been received by the county elections department should visit Oregonvotes.gov to check the status of their ballot, though it can take between 48 and 72 hours from when a ballot is dropped off at a ballot box — perhaps longer for ballots mailed — to appear in the system.

Election Officials say it’s too late to drop your ballot in the mail and have any certainty it’ll arrive at the county elections office in time, so head over to one of Washington County’s 21 official ballot drop sites — some of which are open 24 hours a day — and slide your envelope on in. 

Oregon does not accept postmarked ballots after November 3 at 8 p.m. If you risk voting by mail at this juncture, you risk throwing away your vote.

The Washington County Elections office sent out a warning to voters that the county would only communicate directly with a voter if there is an issue with the signature on their ballot by mail. Phone calls, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication are not from the county. 

If there is an issue with a ballot signature, voters will have until November 17 at 5 p.m. to resolve the issue.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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