Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not much of an early turnout in Deschutes County

We've had our ballots for a week now and the Deschutes County Clerk's office is reporting just a 19 percent return rate. My ballot is in.

Statewide, the Secretary of State's office is showing the turnout by party as 16.4 percent by Democrats, 15.8 percent by Repubicans and 9.5 percent by non-affiliated voters.

Oregon, of course, was the first state in the nation to go to all-mail balloting in 1998.

Consequently, Oregon has one of the highest turnout rates for presidential elections at over 80 percent. It was nearly 86 percent in 2008.

Still, the turnout so far suggests a lack of interest compared to four years ago.

In fact, the primary last May had the lowest turnout since 1960.

That was to be expected since President Obama was the nominee for the Democrats and since the Republican field was so weak and weird with Willard (Mitt) Romney the presumptive nominee.

It doesn't seem, though, that the get-out-the-vote efforts from either party are producing big results in Oregon.

The Beaver State is not considered a toss-up state, but President Obama's expected margin of victory should be less than it was in 2008 or in the 5 percent range.

That doesn't mean Oregon voters are smitten with Mitt. In spite of a sizable Mormon population in the state, particularly in Bend, the Mitt-wit does not energize the GOP here.

He's a one-man, voter-suppression machine.


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