Low voter turnout across southern Oregon for midterm elections

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– It’s a day away from the midterm primary election but counties are already beginning to tally up the votes.

At the Jackson County Clerk’s Office ballots are coming in that will decide on a number of items up for a vote, from the state legislature to a Medford school bond.

Around midday on Monday, Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker said turnout was around 22 percent but she expects that number will be up to 30 percent by tomorrow night.

That’s a low number for any primary election and about average for midterms.

“I have every confidence we’re gonna pick up. I’m estimating about a 30-32 percent,” said Walker. “We could be either above 30 or slightly below but I think with the way returns are coming back today we’ll probably end up somewhere in the 30th percentile.”

Walker also added that while not everyone may be interested in who or what is being voted on in the midterms, the importance of voting shouldn’t be diminished.

“You can participate in all kinds of ways,” she said. “But one of those ones, the center of democracy is making sure you participate, you take an active role in what happens in our elections.”

In Josephine County, voter turnout was currently at around 20 percent as of 4 p.m. For Klamath County, it was about 23 percent. Clerks in Klamath County said turnout was significantly lower than previous years around the same time. They hope to have turnout up to 27 percent by tomorrow night.

It is too late to mail in your ballot but you have until 8 p.m. tomorrow to drop off your ballot.

County clerks would like to remind everyone that is dropping off their ballot to sign their name on the front of the envelope.

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