Live coverage: Oregon 2022 general election

Capital Chronicle reporters and editor bring you the latest on the state’s 2022 general election

By: , , and - November 8, 2022 5:45 am

Voters need to drop off their ballots by Election Day or make sure they’re postmarked by Nov. 8. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon voters will decide Tuesday who wins key races that could change the balance of power in the state and nationally.    

They will pick a new governor, decide who will be in Oregon’s congressional delegation and cast ballots on several ballot measures, including two that would alter the state’s constitution.

Some results may not be known for days. Ballots postmarked on Tuesday are valid, and voters have until 8 p.m. to deposit their ballots in a drop box. The Secretary of State’s latest turnout data shows that only 1 million ballots had been returned as of Monday – only 36% of those sent out. Nearly 44% of eligible Democrats had cast ballots and 48% of Republicans had done so. Just under 20% of unaffiliated voters, who make up the biggest bloc, had turned in ballots.

At this time in the 2018 general election, nearly 68% of registered voters had turned in ballots.

Capital Chronicle’s reporters and editors will update this feed with the latest election news and on Twitter. Please keep checking back for updates or stay with us as results become available.

2 weeks ago

Several high-profile Oregon races remain too close to call Wednesday

By: - Wednesday November 9, 2022 3:14 pm
Sample ballots are scanned into a database during a ballot-counting test at the Multnomah County Elections Office in Portland on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. (Jordan Gale/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Several high-profile Oregon races remained too close to call on Wednesday, but it appeared clear Democrats will maintain their legislative majorities.

As of midday Wednesday, the Associated Press had not called the race for governor or the state’s three competitive congressional districts. The Oregonian/OregonLive on Wednesday morning called the governor’s race for Democrat Tina Kotek, who led Republican Christine Drazan by almost 20,000 votes with at least 300,000 ballots left to count.

The total number of outstanding ballots won’t be known until next week, as state law requires that ballots postmarked on Election Day that arrive within a week be counted. 

Last updated: 3:14 pm

2 weeks ago

Two statewide measures on slavery and legislative walkouts have passed in Oregon

By: - 3:11 pm
Measure 113 essentially bans long walkouts by minority lawmakers in Salem. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Oregon voters passed ballot measures to remove references to slavery from the state constitution and punish lawmakers for skipping work.

Supporters of a third proposal that would tighten Oregon’s gun laws have also declared victory, though the battle is tight and hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted. As of noon Wednesday, about 1.5 million ballots had been counted. Nearly 3 million voters were sent ballots.

The fate of a fourth measure that would make affordable health care a right remains undecided, with votes for and against nearly even. 

Last updated: 3:11 pm

2 weeks ago

Stephenson claims victory as Oregon’s labor commissioner

By: - 3:09 pm
Christina Stephenson (Campaign photo)

Employment attorney Christina Stephenson held a more than 20-point lead over her competitor in the race to lead the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, leading her campaign to declare victory Tuesday night.

Though final results could be days away, by Wednesday morning, polls continued to show Stephenson, who had a huge fundraising advantage, leading by about 61% compared to 40% for her competitor, Bend restaurant owner and former Republican lawmaker Cheri Helt. Helt has not yet conceded the race.

 

Last updated: 3:09 pm

2 weeks ago

Oregon governor’s race won’t be called by Tuesday night

By: - Tuesday November 8, 2022 11:09 pm

Last updated: 11:09 pm

3 weeks ago

Early results indicate that Republicans could pick up 2 seats in the Oregon state Senate

By: - 10:32 pm
Oregon Senate floor session
Republican have a chance to gain seats in the state Senate. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

The first voting results announced Tuesday night in Oregon showed that two Republican candidates vying for seats in the Oregon Senate were in the lead.

Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher, running for the open seat of retiring Democrat Peter Courtney in the 11th Senate District in the Salem area, had 53% of the vote in returns tallied before 10 p.m. Her Democratic opponent, Richard Walsh, had 47%.

And in the 16th Senate District on the north coast, Republican Rep. Suzanne Weber had 55% of the vote compared with 44% for Democrat Melissa Busch.

Bryan Iverson, political director of the Senate Republicans, expressed confidence that Republicans would win those seats but he said others were still in play.

Last updated: 10:33 pm

3 weeks ago

Sen. Jeff Golden leads in Oregon Senate District 3

By: - 9:52 pm

3 weeks ago

Voter turnout at 57% as of Tuesday evening

By: - 9:48 pm

 

3 weeks ago

Democrats lead in two of three competitive Oregon congressional races

By: - 9:37 pm
Three of Oregon’s congressional races are competitive. (Les Zaitz/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Democrats led in two competitive Oregon congressional elections after early results posted Tuesday night, while a Republican was ahead in the race to replace outgoing Democratic U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader.

Val Hoyle, a Democrat and the state labor commissioner, held a 10-point lead over Republican Alek Skarlatos in the 4th Congressional District shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday. In the 5th Congressional District, Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer led Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner by 5 points. And in the 6th District, Democratic state Rep. Andrea Salinas led Republican Mike Erickson by 4 points.

Nationally, Republicans remain favored to take the U.S. House, though their chances at a majority depend on the eventual outcomes in close races like the ones in Oregon. 

3 weeks ago

Stephenson in the lead for labor commissioner in early results

By: - 9:25 pm
Preliminary results show employment attorney Christina Stephenson will be Oregon’s next BOLI Commissioner. (Campaign photo)

Employment attorney Christina Stephenson was in the lead for labor commissioner in early results announced Tuesday evening.

Stephenson had about 60% of the vote according to results released by the Secretary of State’s office at 9 p.m. Her opponent, restaurant owner and former Bend Republican House Rep. Cheri Helt, had about 40% of the vote.


 

It could be days before the final results are known but Stephenson appears to be well positioned for victory. 

3 weeks ago

Fate of 4 statewide measures mostly unclear in early returns

By: - 9:20 pm
A measure which would tighten Oregon’s gun laws drew opposition fundraising, unlike three other statewide measures. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Early returns released Tuesday show support for four statewide measures, though the results are mostly tight.

Only one, Measure 113 that aims to ban legislative walkouts, appears headed towards victory. With just over 1 million ballots counted out of nearly 3 million at 9 p.m., nearly 68% voted in favor and 32% were against.

The vote for Measure 111, which would make affordable health care a right in the Oregon Constitution, was split. The vote on Measure 112, which would remove slavery and involuntary servitude from the constitution as a punishment for a crime, showed 54% in favor and 46% against. And the early results for Measure 114, which would tighten Oregon’s gun laws, had 51% in favor and 49% against.

Here’s a look at the measures:

Last updated: 9:22 pm

3 weeks ago

Oregon governor race is two-way contest between Kotek, Drazan

By: - 9:09 pm
Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan are in a two-way race for governor. (Campaign photos)

Oregon’s race for governor is a two-way contest between Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan, early election results showed.

With more than 1 million votes counted as of 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, Kotek held a narrow lead over Drazan. Nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson was in a distant third and conceded shortly after 8:30.

[Read more]

Last updated: 9:10 pm

3 weeks ago

Betsy Johnson Concedes

By: - 8:44 pm

3 weeks ago

Preliminary results: Oregon governor’s race

By: - 8:31 pm

Last updated: 8:38 pm

3 weeks ago

Preliminary results for Oregon’s 6th Congressional District

By: - 8:28 pm

Last updated: 8:39 pm

3 weeks ago

Preliminary results for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District race

By: - 8:25 pm

Last updated: 8:38 pm

3 weeks ago

Preliminary Results for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District

By: - 8:23 pm

Last updated: 8:37 pm

3 weeks ago

Early lead for Tina Kotek in governor’s race

By: - 8:04 pm

Last updated: 8:06 pm

3 weeks ago

Clackamas County adds Tuesday night election results release

By: - 1:44 pm
Sample ballots are scanned into a database during a ballot-counting test at the Multnomah County Elections Office in Portland on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. (Jordan Gale/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Clackamas County will report election results twice on Tuesday night after Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan asked for more than one update. 

The county, Oregon’s third-largest and home to more than 314,000 voters, planned to report an initial round of election results shortly after 8 p.m. and then go dark until Wednesday at 6 p.m. Following Fagan’s request on Tuesday, it added a 10:30 p.m. posting time. 

Oregon’s two largest counties, Multnomah and Washington, both planned to report election results every hour or every two hours until early Wednesday morning, and most other counties planned to publish at least one additional round of results Tuesday night.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan this year required counties to post their reporting schedules online before Election Day. Fagan spoke to Clackamas County officials Tuesday morning and urged them to report more frequently, her spokesman told the Capital Chronicle. 

“We encourage counties to provide timely information to the public,” Fagan said in a statement. “All 36 counties are independent and can make their own reporting schedules. Clackamas’s schedule complies with the rule.”

Results won’t be finalized by counties until Dec. 5, and ballots that arrive within the next week that were postmarked on or before Election Day are still counted. In most races, news organizations including the Associated Press project winners based on unofficial results.

Last updated: 7:19 pm

3 weeks ago

Turnout remains slightly sluggish in Oregon with hours left to vote 

By: - 12:58 pm
Elections officials have to verify signatures and check ballots for processing. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Turnout continues to be a little sluggish in Oregon with fewer than half of the state’s voters turning in their ballots through Monday.

Secretary of State results show that about 45% of the nearly 3 million of the state’s eligible voters had cast ballots. That compares with 50% at the same time in 2018, the last midterm election. One thing that’s changed since then: Voters can now deposit ballots in dropboxes until 8 p.m. or have them postmarked by the end of day. 

Analysts said it’s difficult to read too much into Monday’s data.

“We don’t know how many ballots are in the mail,” said John Horvick, senior vice president of DHM Research in Portland.

But one trend has emerged, he said: The percentage of Republicans who’ve already voted is bigger than that for Democrats.

“The fact that Republicans have turned out relatively better in this election compared to Democrats in the early days is notable to me,” Horvick said.

He said that could indicate that the skepticism about voting among Republicans in the rest of the country has not spread to Oregon, where nearly 70% of all voters and 49% of Republicans said in a recent poll that they trusted the state’s electoral system.

Horvick also said the early turnout could be good for Republicans.

“If I were a Republican running for office, I would be encouraged by that,” Horvick said.

According to the latest Secretary of State’s statistics, 56% of the 1 million reg`unty. Washington County has the highest number of registered Republicans who’ve voted: 60% or 76,000 people.

Secretary of State data shows that the lowest percentage of eligible voters casting ballots so far – 27% of 1 million people – are unaffiliated. They’ve become the state’s biggest voting bloc thanks to the 2016 Motor Voter law that automatically registers voters who obtain a driver’s license or state identification card through the DMV. 

The counties with the biggest percentage of returned ballots – Grant (65%), Lake (60%), Wallowa (60%), Gilliam (59%) and Harney (58%) – are all in rural Oregon.

The county with the lowest return rate, Clackamas at nearly 37%, is also the only one that includes an urban area that will not be reporting result updates throughout the night. Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall has decided to report once after 8 p.m. and then report again nearly a day later.  

 

Last updated: 7:20 pm

3 weeks ago

Clackamas County won’t publish as many election day results as other large counties

By: - 11:42 am

Update: After the publication of this article, Clackamas County announced it would post a second round of election night results at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The county will still publish less frequently than other large Oregon counties, which plan to continue counting ballots until late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. 

Oregon’s third-largest county won’t report most of its election results until Wednesday evening.

The delay by the Clackamas County clerk, Sherry Hall, means voters likely won’t know the winner of Oregon’s 5th Congressional District until Wednesday evening at the earliest.

The county is home to more than 314,000 voters, making up about 10% of the state’s total registered voters and one-third of the voters in the 5th District. 

Hall’s decision not to publish results throughout the night Tuesday is out of step with most Oregon counties. Every county will report initial results shortly after 8 p.m., and nearly all will continue publishing results Tuesday night as election offices continue processing ballots delivered in recent days. Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan required each county to publish election night reporting schedules online. 

The state’s largest county, Multnomah, plans to post results every two hours between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 2 a.m. Wednesday. Washington County, the second-largest, intends to announce results hourly until midnight.

Only a handful of counties, nearly all small and rural, will wait until Wednesday to publish their second round of results. 

Here’s when each county will publish its second round of results:

  • Baker: “once more before going home for the night”
  • Benton: 11 p.m. Tuesday
  • Clackamas: 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Clatsop: “later on election night”
  • Columbia: 11 p.m. Tuesday, once more Tuesday night/Wednesday morning
  • Coos: approximately every two hours after 8 p.m.
  • Crook: once on election night, then daily updates
  • Curry: 7 p.m. Wednesday
  • Deschutes: “additional election night results will be provided until all viable ballots received are processed.”
  • Douglas: 10 p.m. Tuesday
  • Gilliam: 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Grant: not posted. After the primary, the next round of results came Wednesday at 5 p.m.
  • Harney: 10 p.m. Tuesday
  • Hood River: 12 a.m. Wednesday
  • Jackson: every three hours after 8 p.m.
  • Jefferson: “once again before midnight”
  • Josephine: unspecified number of times on Tuesday, then Nov. 16 by 7 p.m.
  • Klamath: unspecified number of times on Tuesday, then Nov. 16 by 7 p.m.
  • Lake: unspecified time “following delivery and tallying of North Lake/Paisley ballots”
  • Lane: 11 p.m. Tuesday
  • Lincoln: 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Linn: “at least once between 9 p.m. and midnight” 
  • Malheur: between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., then between midnight and 1 a.m. 
  • Marion: at least once between 9 p.m. and midnight
  • Morrow: 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Polk: 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Multnomah: 10 p.m., 12 a.m., 2 a.m.
  • Sherman: 5 p.m. Wednesday
  • Tillamook: 5 p.m. Nov. 10
  • Umatilla: 11 p.m.
  • Union: “several times throughout the night”
  • Wallowa: “several times throughout the night”
  • Wasco: around midnight
  • Washington: 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m., midnight
  • Wheeler: “when counting is finished”
  • Yamhill: 10 p.m.

Last updated: 6:48 pm

3 weeks ago

How to vote in person on Election Day

By: - 5:55 am
Elections workers address voter questions at the Marion County Clerk's Office in Salem on Monday, May 16. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)
Elections workers address voter questions at the Marion County Clerk’s Office in Salem May 16. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Those who would like to fill out and submit a ballot for the 2022 Oregon general election at a voting booth on Election Day can do just that at a county election office, which will be open until 8 p.m. 

Historically, few voters choose to do so, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. Oregonians voted overwhelmingly in 1998 to allow for vote-by-mail in elections and the bulk of voters in the state mail their ballots or put them in a drop box.

But in a statement, the office said that nationwide calls from Republican activists to hand in ballots at a polling place or election office prompted them to reissue guidelines to counties and the public on voting in-person. 

Those calls from Republican activists, which are rooted in unfounded conspiracy theories that voting systems have been manipulated to benefit Democrats, could mean county election offices see an influx in voters hoping to cast their ballots in person, the Secretary of State’s Office said. 

Those wishing to vote in person need to be in line at their county election office by no later than 8 p.m. Each office must have at least three voting booths available, and at least one booth per 20,000 voters. Counties can decide how to prioritize those in line if needed, allowing people with disabilities or with caregiving responsibilities to vote first.

Last updated: 7:14 pm

3 weeks ago

Majority of Oregon congressional, legislative races aren’t competitive

By: - 5:45 am
More than half the candidates running for the state House are in districts Republicans or Democrats typically win with more than 55% of the vote. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

For many Oregon candidates, election night is likely to be tense. But for others, it will be a formality: They’ve all but won already. 

Three legislative candidates, all Republicans, face no opposition. Many other legislative candidates and more than half the state’s congressional delegation face token challenges. 

All 60 House districts are up for election for two-year terms and 15 of the 30 Senate districts are up for four-year terms. One Portland-area Senate seat is up for a two-year term because the senator elected in 2020 resigned early. 

Oregon’s six congressional districts are also up for election for two-year terms, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is running for re-election for a six-year term. Political analysts expect Republicans to win a majority of seats in the U.S. House and potentially the U.S. Senate. They also expect the GOP to make gains in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature. Democrats now hold 37 of 60 seats in the Oregon House and 18 of 30 in the Senate.  

Here’s a look at the races that likely won’t get much attention on election night.

 

Last updated: 7:12 pm

 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Alex Baumhardt
Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.

MORE FROM AUTHOR
Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.

MORE FROM AUTHOR
Ben Botkin
Ben Botkin

Ben Botkin covers justice, health and social services issues for the Oregon Capital Chronicle. He has been a reporter since 2003, when he drove from his Midwest locale to Idaho for his first journalism job. He has written extensively about politics and state agencies in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. Most recently, he covered health care and the Oregon Legislature for The Lund Report. Botkin has won multiple journalism awards for his investigative and enterprise reporting, including on education, state budgets and criminal justice.

MORE FROM AUTHOR
Lynne Terry
Lynne Terry

Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience, including a recent stint as editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years. She has won state, regional and national awards, including a National Headliner Award for a long-term care facility story and a top award from the National Association of Health Care Journalists for an investigation into government failures to protect the public from repeated salmonella outbreaks. She loves to cook and entertain, speaks French and is learning Portuguese.

MORE FROM AUTHOR