Oregon sees record voter turnout in midterm election
EUGENE, Ore. - Voter turnout so far in the midterm election is ahead of the 2014 midterm - in Lane County, and Oregon in general.
Ballots are due back to an official ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Postmarks do not count in Oregon's vote by mail system.
Lane County Elections has received almost 80,000 ballots as of November 1. That's about 14,000 more than at the same point in 2014.
"There are a lot of important issues on the ballot, a lot of important races, so we're seeing heightened awareness of that," said Cheryl Betschart at Lane County Elections. "Voters are coming out and getting those voted ballots in.”
Statewide, the Secretary of State reports ballots coming in at a record rate.
"Turnout at close of business on Tuesday, October 30 stood at 657,480, which is 123% of the prior high of 533,424 at this point in the 2014 election," the state's election officials said.
“In Oregon, we celebrate voter participation and want to ensure that every eligible voter is able to vote,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “If you haven’t turned in your ballot yet, please do so soon.”
Betschart said voter registration has been very high this year. They expect 70 to 74 percent of voters to cast their votes.
“It's just past 261,000 registered voters, so everything is in comparison to that total," she said. "We were at 208,000 voters in 2014, so we certainly have seen an increase due to the automatic voter registration law."