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Oregon's Midterm Voter Turnout Approaching Presidential Election Level

The Secretary of State's office says that early ballot returns for this election are well above the normal level for midterms — almost as high as the 2012 presidential election.

Posted: Nov. 2, 2018 10:56 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The total turnout in Oregon for this year's midterm election is already approaching presidential election levels, according to the office of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

With Election Day just four days out, Richardson's office claims that ballot returns for 2018 have surpassed the prior records for midterm turnout at this stage in the voting process — climbing nearly to the level of the 2012 presidential election.

Turnout at close of business on Thursday, November 1 stood at 881,715 — far higher than the prior high of 702,437 at this point in the 2014 midterm election, and only slightly below the 899,128 ballots cast at this point in the 2012 presidential election.

“It is fantastic that over 881,715 Oregonians have already turned in their ballots,” said Secretary of State Richardson. “I encourage all eligible voters to return your ballot to an official drop box soon. Your community needs your voice.”

The surge is due in large part to an increase in overall voter registration. The actual percentage of returned ballots was 31.9 percent on Thursday — in line with previous midterms in 2014 (32.3 percent), 2010 (33 percent), 2006 (32 percent), and 2002 (30 percent).

"Strong turnout, combined with population growth and increased voter registration, has resulted in significantly more votes being cast than in prior midterm elections," said Richardson's office in a statement.

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