Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bradbury Projects Solid Turnout

Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury released his projections for final turnout in the 2006 general election, and the numbers are pretty good: 71% of eligible Oregonians are figured to turn in a ballot on time, an increase over the 68% return rate for the last midterm/goobernatorial election in 2002. (The 1998 rate was also 71%). This is especially welcome news, given the slowed pace of returns through Tuesday. The returns for Wednesday were strong, for the first time pushing the total (27.3%) higher than comparable returns in 2002 (26%)--and obviously leading to the optimistic projection. Said Bradbury:
I’m excited that Oregonians are proving to be so engaged in this election. I believe this turnout rate is due to a high level of interest, both nationally in the direction of the country and locally, in a hotly contested governor’s race. Our vote by mail system also allows the parties to run their get-out-the-vote efforts in a very effective way that leads to increased participation.
Bradbury also reminded voters that there is still time to get their ballots in for this year’s election. Postmarks do not count. Ballots much be received by elections officials by 8 pm on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7th, 2006. A listing of drop sites, their hours and a map of each can be found at

I'm hoping to tap some of our sources for dribs and drabs of information based on returns in certain key counties and districts, in order to find out how turnout by party appears to be progressing. Obviously the simple notion of high turnout doesn't tell us anything about whether Republican Oregonians are bucking the expected trends for diminished turnout, or whether Democrats are more energized. What we do know is that GOP turnout traditionally exceeds that of Democrats in Oregon, so anything approaching parity would be a good sign for the Dems.

Stay tuned!