Counties seeing low, but not unusual, special election turnout
As of Tuesday morning, both Jackson and Josephine County Clerks reported low turnout from voters for the May 2019 Special Election.
Josephine County Clerk Rhiannon Henkels found 20.4% of ballots had been turned in as of the morning of election day. This year's special election ballot has a handful of measures and candidates for different positions, but very few actually impact the entire county.
"There are the two advisory questions county-wide and really even with that it's only ... the one is county-wide," Henkels said. "The other is only if you're not protected in a fire-protected district or in the city of Grants Pass or the city of Cave Junction."
Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker says the turnout in her county is even lower by percentage. As of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, turnout was at 14.6%, approximately 22,000 ballots turned in.
"These particular elections, district elections, always have a lower turnout," Walker said. "We have a lot of candidates and we have some measures but what happens is they're not people who actively campaign."
Henkels is optimistically looking at possibly 27% or 28% voter turnout. Walker, who initially estimated 20% turnout, is now predicting maybe only 17% of ballots get turned in by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Both Henkels and Walker say turnout is low but that surprises neither of them.
It is now too late to mail a ballot in.