PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregonians broke a state record for voter turnout in a midterm election on Nov. 6, 2018.
The state hasn’t released an official grand total of ballots received, but numbers on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website at 9 a.m. Thursday show that 1,891,074 people cast their votes.
This is a significant increase from the midterm election in 2014 when 1,541,782 people submitted their ballots.
Currently, the statewide voter turnout is 68.45 percent of eligible voters. This is less than 2014’s 70.9 percent, but experts say this could be due to Oregon’s Motor Voter Law that was implemented on Jan. 1, 2016. The law automatically registers Oregon residents to vote when they visit the DMV to apply for, renew, or replace an Oregon drivers’ license, ID card, or permit.
To give a sense of how many new, eligible voters the law has registered, take a look at the numbers in the 2014 midterm election. There were 2,174,763 people registered to vote.
In the 2018 election, the number of eligible voters spiked to 2,762,746.
So, although Oregon’s voter turnout percentage may seem low, the numbers are promising.
KATU News will provide an update when the final voter turnout numbers are in.