Oregon Primary Voter Turnout Lower Than Expected

May 14, 2012

By Jennifer Richardson

LANE COUNTY, Ore. — So far, ballots cast for Tuesday’s primary election are fewer than expected.

As of Friday, the Lane County Elections Office received 40,000 ballots. That’s about a 20 percent return for the county.

If you compare these results to the presidential primary in 2008, this is a significantly lower response.

If you go back even farther to 2006’s primary — a non-presidential one — it’s still significantly lower now.

Lane County projects a total ballot return rate between 30 and 40 percent.

The county says usually a presidential primary brings in about 60 percent.

County elections employees say this low rate may partially be because there isn’t a big statewide ballot measure.

All votes must be submitted by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.

“We actually have drivers and drivers’ assistants that opposite party affiliation that pick up at all of our different locations, and they go out usually in the morning and if needed in the afternoon,” said Lane County Elections Manager Cheryl Betschart.

The office does its last pick-up at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The first results will be available at that time.

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