As of May 8, only about 2,000 of 14,000 ballots had been returned to the Jefferson County Clerk's Office.

HOLLY M. GILL - Ballots for the May 15 primary election are due at the Jefferson County Courthouse Annex or a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on election day.Less than a week remains until the May 15 primary election, which could decide two of the three contested Jefferson County positions, along with numerous statewide positions.

On the local ballot, four people will vie for the nonpartisan position of Jefferson County clerk — Brian Crow, Charity Dubisar, Yoonsun Reynolds and Kate Zemke.

"The top two vote-getters will move to the November election," said Jefferson County Clerk Kathy Marston, who is retiring, and did not file for re-election. However, if one of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote, that person will be the only one on the November ballot, she said, noting that under state statute, the positions of clerk and sheriff can only be elected in November.

For position 1 on the Jefferson County Commission, also nonpartisan, incumbent Mae Huston will be challenged by Kim Schmith. If one of the two receives more than 50 percent of the vote, she will be elected. If neither receives more than 50 percent, they will both be on the November ballot, Marston said.

Three candidates appear on the ballot for position 2 on the commission, currently held by Mike Ahern, who did not file for re-election: Courtney Snead, Mary Kendall and Kelly Simmelink.

Unless one of the three receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will move on to the November election. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent in the May 15 election, that person will be elected.

Also on the ballot will be the challengers in the governor's race and the race for representative of the Second Congressional District, as well as the Oregon labor commissioner race and several judge positions. To read up on the candidates, the Voters' Pamphlet for the election is online at

More than 14,000 ballots were mailed out April 25, and should have arrived in local mailboxes last week.

"If you didn't get a ballot, contact our office," said Marston. "It's too late to mail a ballot out, but you can come into our office and get a ballot."

As of Tuesday morning, only about 2,000 ballots had been returned. "It's a pretty low turnout," said Marston.

For those who have not yet returned their ballots, she said, "I would recommend that they not mail their ballots after Wednesday, May 9."

Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on May 15, to the Clerk's Office, at 66 SE D St, in Madras, or one of the five 24-hour drop boxes around the county, in Culver at the Culver City Hall, 200 West First St.; in Metolius at the Metolius City Hall, 636 Jefferson St.; at Crooked River Ranch, in the administration area; in Warm Springs at 2112 Wasco St.; or the drop box outside the Jefferson County Courthouse Annex at 66 SE D St.

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