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Ballots will be mailed out this week and drop sites are available throughout the community

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CHERYL SEELY
 - A new ballot drop box was recently installed near the Crook County Library.

The general election is set to take place in Crook County early next month and plans are in place to move forward with the event amidst a pandemic.

Ballots are set to be mailed out to local registered voters including those who are currently out of state vacationing for the winter. The out-of-state ballots were mailed on Oct. 5 and the ballots will be sent to the rest of the county addresses on Wednesday.

Going into this election, Crook County has nearly 19,000 registered voters, an increase of more than 400 from the May primary.

Ballots are due no later than 8 p.m. on Election Night, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters can mail their ballots back but are advised not to do so within a week of Election Day out of concern they do not arrive at the Clerk's Office in time. Ballot drop sites in Crook County include the clerk's office inside the Crook County Courthouse, the back of the courthouse, outside the Powell Butte Community Charter School building and the south end of the Crook County Library parking lot.

Crook County ballots will feature a variety of uncontested city and county races. County Sheriff John Gautney will appear on the ballot as will Prineville mayoral candidate Jason Beebe and city councilor candidates Steve Uffelman, Gail Merritt and Raymond Law.

The races for state and federal offices are a different story as several positions are contested. Republican incumbent Vikki Breese-Iverson and Democratic challenger Barb Fontaine are competing for House District 55 Representative. Both candidates live in Crook County. Meanwhile, Republican Dennis Linthicum, who is seeking re-election for Senate District 28, will face Democrat Hugh Palcic.

In the Oregon Secretary of State race, Republican Kim Thatcher will face Democrat Shemia Fagan, and Democratic incumbent Tobias Read is running against Republican Jeff Gudman for State Treasurer. In the race for Oregon Attorney General, Democrat Ellen Rosenblum is seeking re-election against Republican challenger Michael Gross.

Oregon's Second Congressional District seat is up for grabs this election as current Rep. Greg Walden plans to retire at the end of this year. Republican Cliff Bentz will face Democrat Alex Spenser. In the race for Oregon's federal senate seat, Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley is facing Republican party nominee Jo Rae Perkins.

Finally, Republican Donald Trump is seeking re-election over Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Local voters can expect some pandemic-prompted changes on Election Night, although those changes were still getting discussed and were not yet formalized by press deadline.

One thing that will go unchanged is how to view results. Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely said they will be posted on a link on the County Clerk's Office website around 8:30 p.m., if not sooner. Clerk's Office staff will continue to update the results throughout the evening.


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