Ballots should be arriving in most mailboxes of Crook County voters this week, as the primary election nears.
Election Day is May 17, and local voters will cast votes to determine a three-way Crook County Commissioner race and the fate of a local school bond measure. In addition, voters will decide who wins the Republican and Democratic Party nominations for Oregon's U.S. Senator and Second Congressional District Representative as well as Oregon Governor.
County candidates on the ballot include incumbent Brian Barney and Corey Whalen and Doug Muck Jr. for commissioner and incumbent County Assessor Jon Soliz, who is running unopposed. The Republican ballot will also include seven candidates for U.S. Senate, including current Prineville mayor Jason Beebe, three candidates for Second Congressional District Representative, including incumbent Cliff Bentz, and 19 candidates for governor.
The Democratic ballot will feature three Senate candidates, including incumbent Ron Wyden, two candidates for Second Congressional District Representative and 15 gubernatorial candidates.
The $66 million school bond measure, if approved would, be utilized to fund improvements and maintenance at every school in the Crook County School District.
Ballots were mailed out last week and according to Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely, most people should receive them by this Monday or Tuesday. She urges voters who have not received a ballot by Thursday to contact the Clerk's Office.
Leading up to Election Day, people can either mail in completed ballots or take them to one of several drop boxes throughout the county. Seely said drop boxes can be found outside the front door of the Clerk's Office, in back of the Crook County Courthouse, at the south end of the Crook County Library's parking lot and next to the front door of Powell Butte Community Charter School.
Unlike previous the last primary election, ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Clerk's Office within seven days after Election Day (May 24) will be counted.
While that is the case, Seely recommends that people who are turning in their ballot two days or less before Election Day utilize the drop boxes to ensure they get received on time.
The changes might have an impact on the initial release of unofficial results. Seely said she does not expect a large quantity of ballots to come in after Election Day, because the postmark option is still new, but it would mean that some votes would not be counted that night. It could take up to seven days for all ballots to be counted, therefore the outcome of a close contest might have to wait. Also, the seven-day postmark window bumps back the 14-day challenge period, meaning election results would not be made official until June 8.
Initial election results will be made available on the County Clerk's website shortly after the 8 p.m. election deadline.
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