The Clackamas County clerk reports that all voters should have received their ballots for the May 16 special district election, as county returns so far are below the turnout rate two years ago, which was a near-record for a special district election in Clackamas County.
As of Friday, 25,281 ballots had been returned by voters in the upcoming election, good for an 8.2% participation rate. About 9.6% of voters had turned out at this same point in the election cycle in 2021.
The cumulative return rate for the May 2021 special district election of 28.1% was the third-highest on record since the state went to mandatory vote-by-mail in 1998, trailing only 2013 (28.7%) and 2011 (41%), when a vehicle registration fee proposal drove angry voters to the polls in massive numbers.
The $5 fee, which had been proposed to replace the Sellwood Bridge, was rejected by more than 60% of county voters.
Turnout in Clackamas County two years ago was slightly higher than the statewide rate, with just over 26% of Oregonians casting a ballot in their special district elections.
Registered voters who haven’t received a ballot should contact Clackamas County Elections for a replacement. Voters can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 503-655-8510, or visit the office at 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100 in Oregon City.
Voters can also request a replacement ballot using the online replacement ballot request form.
Among other issues, area voters are weighing in on a hotly contested race for three seats on the Canby School Board and a replacement operating levy for the Canby Fire District.
Depending on the voter’s address, the off-year election will include board of directors seats for local school districts, community colleges, education service districts, fire districts, water districts, and other special districts.
There are also city offices and district levy and bond measures for voters in some jurisdictions. Where a particular voter lives determines what districts, measures and contests are on their ballot. There are no statewide races or ballot measures in special district elections.
Countywide voters’ pamphlets were mailed out earlier this month, but digital versions are available on the county’s website.
Ballots can be mailed back with a valid postmark or returned to an official ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 16. No postage is necessary if mailed in the United States or returned to an official drop box.
Drop boxes are open 24/7 until 8 p.m. on Election Day and available in Canby at the Canby Civic Building, 222 Northeast 2nd Avenue, and Arneson Garden behind Fred Meyer, 249 South Sequoia Parkway; in Molalla at the Molalla Public Library, 201 East 5th Street; and in Oregon City at the county elections office, 1710 Red Soils Court, and City Hall, 625 Center Street.
For more information about the election, visit bit.ly/ClackCoMay2023Election.
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