How The Votes Are Counted In The Oregon Election Result

Oregon Election: Watching the Oregon election results and trying to calculate what fraction of the votes have been counted can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

People who follow election results typically want to know how many precincts have been reported. Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, however, means that the final tally may not be known until several days after the Tuesday night deadline.

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How To Count Vote In Oregon Election Result

Here’s a guide to deciphering the most recent data posted by the Oregon Secretary of State. You may have noticed a percentage in a circle toward the top right of the results page. What you see there is not the proportion of votes cast that way. The number of counted ballots relative to the total number of voters registered in a given state.

In this state, for instance, there are currently 2,997,548 registered voters. Right next to that ring is a number.

The number above it represents the total number of ballots cast in this election that have been received and counted.

The numbers will change if you drill down into the Secretary of State’s website results, for example by county. That’s because there’ll be fewer people registered to vote in any given county than there are in the state as a whole. Even if all votes in a county are counted, that number will be less than the total number of votes cast in the state.

No state or county will ever have an exact number of returned ballots that matches the number of registered voters because voter turnout is never 100%.

How The Votes Are Counted In The Oregon Election
How The Votes Are Counted In The Oregon Election

Thus, we move on to the second source of information from the Secretary of State. They maintain a database that is regularly updated to reflect the number of ballots that have been received. This database provides information not only on votes cast and received but also on the political affiliations of the voters who cast those ballots.

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At 3:55 on Wednesday, 82.5% of the ballots cast in the state (1,497,478 out of 1,813,994) had been counted.

However, there are still votes outstanding. To be counted, ballots sent in the mail must bear a postmark no later than November 8; however, they have until November 15 to arrive.

If you’re watching a close race, please be patient. All the winners might not be known until next week.

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