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Last Chance To Vote In Oregon's Special Election


Tuesday is the last day for Oregonians to vote in this year’s special election. Counties all across the state are sponsoring ballots on a variety of local measures and candidates.

May 18 is election day for all Oregon voters, but many seem not to be particularly interested. As of Monday, in Jackson County, for example, voter turnout was at 16.4%.

Chris Walker, the Jackson County Clerk, says this is one of the lowest turnouts ever.

“It’s not that I don’t think people want to be able to vote, but I think it just doesn’t spur their interest, such as a big presidential election or even the midterm governor’s election," she said.

Measures on this year’s Jackson County ballot include a renewal levy for Rogue Valley Transportation District, as well as a variety of school boards, utility districts, and other offices.

Voter turnout for special elections is usually lower than turnout for general elections. Walker says this might be due to lack of interest of what's on the special election ballot.

“I believe people know it’s going on, but I think they’ve been so inundated previously," said Walker. "And they don’t know a lot of the candidates unless you live in that area and you pay attention to the politics within, say, the school districts. But it’s unfortunate because these are such important elections.”

Walker urges people to vote on at least one candidate or measure in their county, even if they leave the rest of the ballot blank.

It’s too late to mail your ballot, but voters have until 8 o’clock tonight to submit their ballots to an official ballot drop box.