Still Counting in Oregon

Oregon has a sane, convenient voting procedure – vote by mail. You get your ballot a couple of weeks before the election, fill it out in the comfort of your home and either mail it back or simply drop it in one of the many ballot drop-offs located all over the State. No long lines and registration issues are typically confronted and resolved long before election day.

But what continues to baffle is why it takes Oregon so long to count its ballots. Here we are, more than 15 hours after the polls have closed, and Oregon has only counted 70% of the precincts in its U.S. Senate race.

When I woke this morning, Republican Gordon Smith was leading Democrat Jeff Merkley by over 15,000 votes. However, that lead has dropped below 7,000 as I write. Given that there are a lot of uncounted votes in liberal Multnomah County, I expect Merkley to pass Smith as the count continues.

UPDATE NO. 1 (1:11 pm PST): With 76% of precincts in, Smith still leads by 8,000 … still lots of votes to count from Lane & Multnomah counties … it should start to tighten.

UPDATE NO. 2 (2:20 pm PST): This count is going at a freaking snail’s pace. The good news is that Merkley is now down less than 5,000.

UPDATE NO. 3 (3:16 pm PST): Merkley trails Smith by 3,500.

2 Responses to “Still Counting in Oregon”

  1. Noah says:

    I see that merkley now has a 20,000 vote lead… but what is taking so damn long. In the last 24 hours they have gone from 76 to 78% counted. Seriously, this makes no sense, even Florida has finished counting ahead of Oregon. Someone needs to explain this.

  2. Macswain says:

    Noah,

    The explanation is that the ballot in Oregon was very long this year; double-sided even.

    Regardless, with a 20,000 plus lead and most, if not all, of the remaing votes left in Multnomah and Lane counties, it is over … Merkley has one. There are no more Republican Senators on the West Coast.

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