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Turnout for mid-term elections down - The Torch
Turnout for mid-term elections down

Turnout for mid-term elections down


August Frank

Polls for the 2014 midterm general election closed at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, Nov. 4, and the ballot count began. As of 4:45 a.m. on Nov. 5, all 91 precincts had been accounted for.

The turnout for this year’s election was 66.47 percent, smaller than previous midterm election turnouts. The 2010 midterm election turnout was 71.89 percent, 2006 had a turnout of 70.82 percent, and 69.09 percent in 2002.

While Democrats took a hit in the U.S. Congress, It was a good election for Oregon Democrats, winning the races for governor, U.S. Senate, and 4th district representative. In the Oregon Senate, Democrats gained one seat to keep their majority, winning 17 to the Republicans’ 12 and one independent. In the Oregon house, Democrats increased their majority by one, winning 35 seats compared to 25 for the Republicans.

Democrat John Kitzhaber was victorious in the race for Governor capturing 50.4 percent of the vote, overshadowing Republican challenger Dennis Richardson’s 43.7 percent. This will be Kitzhaber’s fourth term as Oregon’s governor.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D) defeated challenger Monica Wehby (R) 56.1 percent to 36.9 percent. This will be Jeff Merkley’s second term in the U.S. Senate.

For the third election in a row, incumbent Peter DeFazio (D) defeated Art Robinson (R) in the 4th district representative race, 58.3 percent to 37.9 percent. This will be DeFazio’s 15th term serving as the 4th district’s representative.

Local Measure 20-222, renewing a property tax levy for the Eugene 4J school district, passed overwhelmingly with a 76 percent yes vote. Local Measure 20-226, a bond for the Springfield School District also passed, collecting a 53 percent yes vote.

Measure 86, which would allow state borrowing to fund college student financial aid, appeared headed for defeat on a 58.6 percent no vote, with 85 percent of ballots counted as of 11:10 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Measure 87, allowing state judges to work for other branches of government, passed with a 56.8 percent yes vote. Measure 88, concerning driver ID cards for illegal immigrants, failed with 67.4 percent voting no.

The Oregon equal rights amendment, measure 89, passed overwhelmingly with a yes vote of 63.1.

Measure 90, which would change the voting system to a top-two primary, failed on a no vote of 68.1 percent, despite supporters outspending opponents almost 6 to 1.

One of the election’s most discussed issues, measure 91, passed with 56 percent voting yes, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

By far the most contentious issue on the ballot and the costliest measure campaign in Oregon’s history, Measure 92 requiring the labeling of GMO products appears headed for failure by a narrow margin. As of 8:01 a.m. on Thursday with 95 percent of votes counted, the count stands at 50.3 percent no to 49.7 percent yes. The margin of difference is 9770 votes out of 1,434,786 total votes.