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Ballots sent in, slowly

Nearly 35 percent of Ashland voters had returned their ballots for the Nov. 6 election by Thursday afternoon.

Because it is a nongeneral election, at least 50 percent of voters in the Ashland School District must cast votes on the Youth Activities and Academics Levy and a majority of those must vote yes for the levy to pass.

A levy to support activities at Ashland schools was first passed in 1994, but this year it has undergone some adjustments to be in line with state law, advocates noted. Rather than just going before city voters, the levy will be voted on by all school district residents, and because it is broadened, the rate will drop to $1.29 per $1,000 of assessed value from $1.38 in past levies.

The money will go to the district's general fund rather than a separate bond fund, but still will support student sports, clubs and activities.

Advocates have noted that in past elections the levy has garnered strong support and good voter turnout. Their Web site describes plans for volunteers to work the phones to get out the vote today, Sunday and Monday.

The Nov. 6 ballot also includes two statewide measures: Measure 49 to clarify land-use regulations and exemptions, and Measure 50 to amend the state Constitution to increase a tobacco tax to fund children's health insurance.

In Gold Hill, residents must select a new City Council member to replace one recalled six months ago. Candidates are Kathleen Price, who was recalled, Mike Ely and Randy "Bucky" Steffen.

Ballot drop sites opened Monday. Curbside drop boxes that are open 24 hours a day are available at Jackson County Elections, 1101 W. Main St., Medford, and the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Other drop sites include:

  • Central Point: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Monday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day at City Hall, 140 S. Third St.
  • Eagle Point: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Monday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day at City Hall, 17 S. Buchanan Ave.
  • Rogue River: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m. today and Monday, with the afternoon hours extended until 8 p.m. on Election Day, at City Hall, 133 Broadway St.

All votes must be submitted by 8 p.m. on Nov. 6.