Voters Showing up in Droves

IMG_20140520_154541MEDFORD, Ore. — Even though ballots are still flowing in, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties are reporting healthy voter turnout. And Jackson County is set to reach it’s highest levels of voter engagement since 2008.

As of about 6:00pm, about 48-49% of ¬†Jackson County voters had turned in ballots. That’s already higher than the turnout from the 2010 and 2012 primary elections, and ballots are still being counted.

Klamath County reported 41% as of 6:30pm and voter turnout in Josephine County is 50% as of 4:00pm. Both Klamath and Josephine say their numbers are on the high end of normal. But elections officials in Jackson County say they’re on track to get close to 55%, making this one of its biggest primaries in recent history.

“There was around a 54% turnout in the primary election of 2008, but then the next two primaries in 2010 and 2012 were much lower at 37%,” said Jackson County Elections Clerk Chris Walker.

Walker says the 2008 election was a big year because there were no incumbents, which encouraged voters to come out in droves. But she says the reason¬†we’re seeing so many votes in the area this year is because all three counties have ballot measures that directly impact voters’ wallets.

That includes the OSU Extension and Library tax districts in Jackson County. Plus, voters in Jackson and Josephine are voting on GMO ballot measures that are gaining national attention.

Ballots will be collected until 8:00pm, and the first round of preliminary results is expected to be released at that time.