Every election cycle, certain candidate races or ballot measures prove that even when voters appear uninterested, they are paying close attention.

Voters saw through Measure 84, which sought to abolish the so-called "death tax." The premise was solid: Isn't dying bad enough without also getting taxed to do so?

Voters are turning the measure down, 55 percent "no" to 45 percent "yes."

The measure, authored by prolific ballot measure impresario Kevin Mannix, also contained a provision that would have allowed tax-free asset transfers between family members. That was an overreach, even though Mannix said lawmakers would be free to address what appeared to be a giant and costly loophole.

Voters are also saying no to a private casino.

Measures 82 and 83, which would have allowed a private casino and then sited a casino at Wood Village, also failed, and in spectacular fashion. Canadian investors hired Oregon's top political talent and gave them $6 million to try to convince voters of the value of a private casino—and then dropped their campaign last month.

Measure 82 is failing, 72 percent to 28 percent. Measure 83 is also losing, 71 percent to 29 percent.

This year's effort appears on track to lose by a worse margin than the 68 percent to 32 percent result in 2010.