Voting in Oregon

I’m looking for someone who is better at googling than I am.

Oregon went to all-mail in 1998 and now it seems that there’s been enough time for some decent statistics as to how it’s working. (I would expect that the first year or two there would be a novelty factor…but that might have corrected itself in the past few years). So, does anyone know where I could find how it’s working? Has it increased voter turnout? Has it increased turnout across the board or only in specific populations? Have there been significant problems with people not being able to vote? Have there been problems with fraud? ballot counting?

Basically I’m looking for statistical, factual information comparing Oregon now to Oregon before the changeover in voting style or comparing Oregon to the rest of the country. I keep coming up with irrelevant sites.


This pdf file has actual voters as a percentage of registered voters going back to 1962: Statistical Summary 2002 General Election (See the last page.) There’s a summary for the 2004 primary election here but they seem to have mistakenly dropped the numbers for the 2002 General Election on that last page.

You can do your own analysis, but it does look like voter participation is up starting with the 2000 election year. How much of that is due to vote by mail and how much to increased partisanship in the elections is a good question.

Don’t know if you already checked this out, but electrions in Oregon are run by the Secretary of State. It looks like they have a fairly significant web presence. The page on vote by mail includes a brief history and FAQ. I haven’t looked at them, but they may be helpful.

Percentage of Registered Voters voting in Oregon in 2002: 69.1%

Compare that with a national 51% turnout for the 2000 Presidential Election.

Seems pretty successfull to me.

There is another factor in Oregon’s voter turnout percentages, money measures require a super-majority. Not only must the ballot measure achieve over 50% of the vote, but turnout must also be over 50%. This gives County elections officials an incentive to be rather diligent about cleaning out the voter rolls.

I need to get some new glasses.

At first glance I thought that the title of this thread was “Vomiting in Oregon.”

We usually wait until after we vote to do that…
Another factor, which will vary from election to election and thus complicate analysis, is the referenda and initiatives. Contentious issues can bring out voters who may not have voted otherwise. For instance, this year we will be voting on a gay marriage issue which should be quite controversial. That combined with the close presidential race should make for a very high turnout.