Although voters had more than two weeks to get their ballots in before tonightâs 8 pm deadline, plenty still raced in cars, on bikes and skateboards, and by foot to the Multnomah County Elections Office in the electionâs final minutes.
âIf one person says âI was too busy,â Iâm going to shoot them. Thatâs such bullshit,â said Joel Finkelstein, 43, who said he left voting until the last minute because heâs âlazyâ and homeless.
âIâm voting for Kitzhaber, even though I think someone else could ultimately do a better job,â Finkelstein said of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. âI think every vote will make a difference.â
Although âprocrastinationâ kept 20-year-old Chelsea Lagomarsino from casting her ballot with only 10 minutes to spare, she still believed it was important to secure her vote for Kitzhaber in the governorâs race against Republican Chris Dudley.
âA lot of it is just that I didnât want Dudley,â Lagomarsino said. âI work in a restaurant, so a lot of [Dudley's platforms] were like, âNo way, dude!â So Iâm definitely all about John Kitzhaber.â
Despite a steady stream of voters at the office, the line outside had dissipated completely by the final hour, with only a handful of voters forced to make a mad dash to the ballot box before the clock ticked toward 8 pm. One veteran observer said he thought it was far less busy than previous years, which he attributed to local voters becoming more accustomed to postal voting, rather than apathy or disinterest.
But for one voter at least, voting in person at the election office remains part of the fun.
âI love the party!â beamed Ellen Leatham.âIâm 62, and Iâve missed two primary elections since I was 18. Thatâs all. I love it. I always brought my children. We come down in person to vote, and we pay our taxes down at the main post office. Because itâs a party.â