Vote Like There’s an Election on May 21—Because There Is!

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or dropped off at an official ballot site by 8 pm that day.

BOX FULL OF BALLOTS: A Multnomah County elections worker transports ballots from a library branch in November 2022. (Tim Saputo)

Next week, metro-area voters get a chance to make their choices in two bitterly fought Democratic congressional primaries, two hotly contested Multnomah County commissioner races and a Multnomah County district attorney’s race between incumbent Mike Schmidt and challenger Nathan Vasquez that has turned into a royal rumble.

Despite the heat—plus millions of dollars of dark money in the 3rd Congressional District, where Maxine Dexter, Susheela Jayapal and Eddy Morales are vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and an equal amount of energy in the 5th Congressional District, where state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) is competing with Jamie McLeod-Skinner for the right to challenge U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.)—the vast majority of voters are sitting on their ballots.

As of May 17, just under 12% of ballots in Multnomah County had been returned. That means turnout is on track to approximate 2022, when in the May primary in Multnomah County it hit 36.55%. Statewide, the percentage of ballots received as of 7:30 am on May 17 was 14.1%.

Although there’s no governor’s race on the ticket this year to generate excitement, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, which in addition to its historical responsibilities now controls two huge pots of money—Preschool for All funding and the county’s share of the Metro supportive housing services tax—is up for grabs. The races in District 3 (highly likely to stay with incumbent Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards) and District 4 (highly like to go to Gresham City Councilor Vince Jones-Dixon) are not particularly competitive. But in District 1 (the westside and inner Southeast Portland), Meghan Moyer and Vadim Mozyrsky are battling to succeed Commissioner Sharon Meieran, who is term-limited from running again, and in District 2 (North and Northeast Portland) Sam Adams, Jessie Burke and Shannon Singleton and vying to complete the remainder of former Commissioner Jayapal’s term. Every vote will be important in those two races.

Read WW’s endorsements in all local races and for local tax measures here.

Ballots must be postmarked (the government even pays postage) or dropped off at an official ballot site by 8 pm Tuesday, May 21.

Here are the drop sites in Multnomah County. And here are the drop sites statewide.

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