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Voters rush to cast their ballots in Jackson County

Voters are sending their ballots back quicker and in record numbers for the Nov. 3 election in Jackson County, with Democrats leading the charge.

As of Monday, 44.9% of ballots had been received at Jackson County Elections, a percentage more typically seen on the Friday before the election.

“I think it’s pretty high,” said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.

Based on these early numbers, Walker said she now predicts we could see turnout at close to 90%.

“People are really turning in their ballots early this year,” she said.

Democratic turnout has hit 61.9%, or 29,186 ballots, and Republicans are at 47.9%, or 24,341.

Nonaffiliated voters, those who don’t belong to any party and make up the largest voting block, are trailing at 25.8%, or 13,890.

All other parties are at 42.8%, or 4,855.

If you haven’t sent your ballot in yet, Walker said, voters should drop them in ballot boxes starting Tuesday rather than mailing them.

If the trend continues, the first round of election results Nov. 3, which are published sometime after 8 p.m., should have a higher number of ballots counted, providing a better picture of early results.

Better early results will help candidates get a better idea how they are doing when the first round of results gets posted, particularly in close elections.

You can drop your ballots into ballot boxes at libraries in Ashland, Central Point, Eagle Point, Medford, Phoenix and Rogue River. You can also put it in a ballot box inside Jackson County Elections, 1101 W. Main St., Suite 201, Medford, or in the ballot box outside at the curb.

All the outside ballot boxes are open 24 hours a day.

The deadline to drop your ballot in one of the official ballot boxes is 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Walker said voters need to remember to sign the outer envelope in order to get counted.

Jackson County voter registration for the Nov. 3 election has surged 13% higher than in 2016.

As of last week, a record 161,801 people had registered compared to 143,301 in November 2016.

Voter registration numbers show that more people have registered as nonaffiliated in Jackson County.

Nonaffiliated voters number 51,539, outpacing Republicans at 51,394 and Democrats at 47,425.

The Independent Party has seen 8,202 registrations.

At 9 a.m.,Tuesday, Jackson County Elections, 1101 W. Main St., will conduct a public certification test for its vote tally system.

Call 541-774-6125 to make arrangements to attend, but the number of people allowed into the building will be limited because of COVID-19 restrictions.

On election night, results will be posted after 8 p.m. at jacksoncountyor.org. Statewide results are at oregonvotes.gov.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.

file photoThe ballot box at the county Elections Office on West Main Street in Medford has been busy in recent days.