Oregon election night returns: Here’s what to expect


Oregon has been controlled by Democrats for decades but Republicans could increase their political power this November.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek is facing a stiff challenge by GOP candidate Christine Drazan with Democrats worried that unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson will siphon off enough votes from Democrats to give Drazan the win.

Oregon’s 5th Congressional District between Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner also a toss-up, although the national non-partisan Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball just moved that to a Lean Republican.

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Here is a brief rundown from the Associated Press on what voters should expect.

  • Ballots must be turned in to an official drop box by 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 8 or must be postmarked by 8:00 p.m. Malheur County is mostly in the Mountain Time Zone, where polls close at 10 p.m. ET.
  • The first results should come in within the first hour after polls close, but it could take days for close races to determine a winner. The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office website will have updated results in all races.
    AP says it will declare winners in 83 contests in Oregon. If a statewide or U.S. House race is within a margin of 0.5%, AP may call the race if it’s determined there is not enough votes for the other candidate to catch up.
  • AP says it will not call down-ballot races on election night if the margin between the top two candidates is less than 2% or if the leading candidate is within 2% of the 50% runoff threshold.
  • Be patient: In the 2020 election, it took until about 2:00 p.m. on Friday — three days after the election — for 90% of ballots to be counted.


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