UNION COUNTY — Union County voters returned just shy of 80.2% of ballots in the Nov. 3 election, the highest turnout since the 2012 general election when turnout reached 82%.
“This election was different from the previous two general elections,” County Clerk Robin Church said. “Voters returned their ballots early, we had the majority prior to election day. In the previous generals we were hit very hard on election day. Receiving the ballots earlier was a great help to us.”
Church said her office has challenged some ballots due to signatures not matching or because the ballot return envelope was not signed.
Voters have until Nov. 17 to take care of the issue.
County voters overwhelming supported Donald Trump for president 68.2% to 28% for former-vice president Joe Biden. About 2.6% of votes went to third-party or write-in candidates.
Overall, the state of Oregon favored Joe Biden 56.5% to 40.3% for Trump.
The county stayed true to its conservative attitudes about politics in other races as well in federal races, with each position receiving more than 60% of local votes. Statewide, though, Democrats won most of those positions, except for Cliff Bentz, who will represent Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District n the U.S. House of Representatives.
Union County also voted Republican for state legislators, with Bill Hansel of Athena winning reelection to the seat for Senate District 29 and Bobby Levy of Echo winning the open seat for House District 58.
On the four state ballot measures, Union County backed two and voted down on two, although statewide all four passed.
Measures 107 and 108 received more than 50% of the vote each in Union County. Measure 107 allows for laws restricting campaign contributions, spending and advertising. Measure 108 increases cigarette and cigar taxes and establishes a tax on e-cigarettes and vapes.
More than 50% of Union County voters were against Measure 109 and 110. Measure 109 allows for the manufacturing, distribution and administration psilocybin, and Measure 110 reclassified possession and penalties for specific drugs while increasing statewide addiction and recovery services.