How Oregon's vote-counting could be better

We're all still waiting to see whether the new, hotly 'mandered Sixth Congressional District in Oregon will start off blue or red. As the sun comes up on another week, the Democrat, Andrea Salinas, is ahead of Trumpy Mike Erickson by 4400 votes out of 235,000. The pundits all say it's too close to call.

It would be really helpful if we knew roughly how many votes were left to be counted in the each of the five counties in the district. I'm sure the campaigns have a good idea, and some of the smarter media too, but they're not talking. Salinas has won the small Clackamas County and large Washington County portions of the district, but Erickson has swept Marion, Polk, and Yamhill.

Salinas is ahead by 14,457 in Washington County, 61.4 percent to 37.0 percent. She's ahead in Clackamas by 1859, 54.8 percent to 43.8 percent.

Erickson's lead in Marion, the district's biggest chunk, is 3586, or 50.5 percent to 46.5 percent. In Polk he's ahead 3695, or 53.9 percent to 43.6 percent. And in Yamhill, he's up by 4635, 54.4 percent to 42.8 percent. The Yamhill and Polk portions together are bigger than the Washington portion but smaller than the Marion portion.

Now, if the counties were to post how many ballots they estimate are still to tally, you could extrapolate a final outcome from those numbers. But looking around the various county elections websites, I don't see any such numbers displayed.

Which is too bad. In contrast, in Washington State, the counties all post a running estimate of the number of ballots that they have in hand and are awaiting counting. In Clark County, for example, at the moment we have:

I suspect that the Secretary of State up there has some rules that require that this information be posted at some set intervals after Election Day. Oregon's counterpart, Shemia Fagan, ought to require the same. To me, the public should have that information available as we sit through the ordeal.


  1. Isn't the number of remaining ballots an unknown quantity, now that the mailing deadline has been moved to election day?

  2. Not by Saturday it wasn't. Very, very few will be delivered now. I'm asking for an estimate, not an exact count.

  3. All the votes are optically scanned then fed into a tabulator that is operated by a private company in which the code cannot be inspected because it is propriety. This is a major flaw in all voting systems. It should be illegal, but it does benefit the ruling class to control outcomes.

    1. There are paper ballots to cross check against tabulators.

    2. Sorry, couldn’t edit and accidentally hit publish. You are seriously insinuating that a “ruling class” is controlling election outcomes with a proprietary optical scanner? Wow, that’s some serious delusion my friend.

    3. Go ahead keep believing that there are no bad guys in the world. FTX any one?


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