Midterm Elections in Oregon Saw a Record Number of Voters Turn Out

Record Number of Voters: It was confirmed Thursday that more than two-thirds of eligible voters cast votes in Oregon’s general election in November.

Midterm Elections in Oregon Saw a Record Number of Voters Turn Out

More people in Oregon cast ballots in this midterm election than in any other in the state’s history, a total of 1,997,687.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said in a statement, “This election was seamless and safe.” It shows how committed Oregonians are to their democracy and the strength of the state’s vote-by-mail system.

Voter participation in Oregon has historically been the highest in the country, and early returns suggest that trend will continue this year. Preliminary statistics provided by the U.S. Elections Project show Oregon having the greatest turnout of any state, while not all states have officially validated their elections.

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Election authorities in Oregon blame the 66.9% turnout on the automatic voter registration law that went into effect in 2016. This law has been in operation since 2016, yet it has not increased voter turnout. Since 2016, more than 800,000 eligible voters have been added to state voter rolls thanks to automatic registration with the purchase or renewal of a driver’s license or non-identity driver’s card.

Midterm Elections in Oregon Saw a Record Number of Voters Turn Out
Midterm Elections in Oregon Saw a Record Number of Voters Turn Out

Turnout percentages have dropped in recent years despite an increase in the overall number of votes cast since a large proportion of the automatically enrolled voters do not actually cast ballots. While there were almost 250,000 more voters in 2020 compared to 2016, the turnout rate dropped from 80.3% to 78.5%. Although there were over 100,000 more ballots cast in this year’s general election compared to the 2018 midterms, turnout fell from 67.8 percent to 66.9 percent.

Voter participation was greatest among Republicans (82.8%), followed by Democrats (78.5%), and then unaffiliated voters (44.5%). More than a million Oregonians choose not to identify with either major political party, making them the state’s largest voting group.

Tina Kotek, the Democrat who will soon become governor, received less than 47% of the vote in a three-way battle with Christine Drazan, the Republican, and Betsy Johnson, the former Democrat who ran as an independent. The 5th Congressional District in Oregon was won by Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, giving the GOP control of two of the state’s six congressional seats.

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Furthermore, the Oregon Republicans were successful in breaking the Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the legislature by gaining three seats, two in the House and one in the Senate. The Democrats in Oregon need the backing of the Republicans in order to enact any tax hikes.

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