Election Day Report from Oregon

As most readers here are aware, Oregon is a fully vote by mail state, so election day is somewhat unique.  I toured the Multnomah County elections office yesterday, and was driving around today, and here is my report.

We don’t exactly have long lines, but there is a wait of about 20 minutes to get into the Multnomah office to correct / update registration records for those citizens who either did not receive their ballot, or received a postcard stating that they needed to come in to correct their registration record.

Across the street, there is a steady line of cars pulling up to drop their ballot off in a drop box (they bought a whole new set of boxes from Hollywood video!), as well as a stream of individuals in Pioneer Square dropping them off by hand.

The big news out of Oregon is the slow turnout–we typically get 80-85% of our ballots in before Tuesday, but this year, I was told that only 55% of ballots had been processed by Monday night.

If Secretary of State Bill Bradbury’s projection of 85% turnout is accurate, this means that 30% of the ballots are coming in today.  The Oregon count, always one of the slower in the nation, will be even slower today.  The results of the heated Senate contest between incumbent Republican Gordon Smith and the democratic challenger Jeff Merkley may not be settled until Wednesday morning.