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Midterm Election Had Second-Highest Ballot Count in Oregon History

The Secretary of State's office says that more than 1.9 million ballots were cast in this election — the highest number aside from 2016, if not the highest percentage.

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 3:13 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2019 2:48 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Whatever the color, the wave of voters who turned out for Oregon's 2018 general election proved to be significant — reaching the second-highest number of ballots cast in state history, according to the office of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

"Each of Oregon’s 36 counties has provided their official certified election results to us here at the Secretary of State’s office. This included a manual, by-hand audit of a percentage of ballots cast to confirm they were counted accurately. In all, 1,914,923 ballots were cast," Richardson's office said in a statement.

At more than 1.9 million ballots counted, the number fell just short of the 2016 general election — which saw more than 2 million ballots. However, neither election saw the highest percentage of turnout among registered voters the state has ever seen. Many past elections have seen turnout for registered voters well north of 80 percent. What it does mean is that Oregon has a rapidly growing population of registered voters.

Of all Oregon counties, Wheeler County had the highest turnout in the state at 90.3% percent.

The Secretary of State's office also released the following interesting insights on turnout:

Turnout among voters by age demographic
 • 18-34: 50.7%
 • 35-49: 67.5%
 • 50-64: 77.1%
 • 65+: 85.8%

Turnout by political party
 • Democrats with 81.8%
 • Republicans with 81.1%
 • Independents with 70.5%
 • Non-Affiliated with 47.5%
 • Constitution with 61.2%
 • Libertarian with 64.3%
 • Pacific Green with 73.4%
 • Progressive with 69.2%
 • Working Families with 44.9%

An important development came out of the high turnout this year, too, according to Richardson's office. The number of signatures required to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot has gone up — by 21.3 percent.

"Our constitution says that the number of signatures required to put initiatives and referenda on the ballot is a percentage of all votes cast for governor in the previous election. There were 1,866,997 total votes cast for governor," Richardson's office said.

Adding a constitutional amendment will now require almost 150,000 signatures (8 percent of the total votes cast for governor), an initiative will require more than 112,000 signatures (6 percent), and a referendum will require nearly 75,000 signatures (4 percent).

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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