Election closest in 60-years
By Mindy Cooper/The Portland Observer
As voting nears its end for Oregon’s May 15 Primary, recent polls have shown Portland’s race for mayor is the closest the city has seen in more than 60-years.
Three recent polls show a tight race between the leading contenders, Eileen Brady, Charlie Hales, and Jefferson Smith. Because none of the candidates are expected to win more than 50 percent of the vote, the two leading contenders will likely face off in November.
Eric Sample, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Elections Division, said many registered voters have taken their time to cast their ballots. Nearly 11 percent, close to 44,000, of the vote-by-mail ballots had been returned through Tuesday.
“Every election is different, but typically in the primary election you don’t see above 50 percent turnout,” Sample said. “But more ballots keep coming in.”
Although registered voters in Multnomah County were mailed a ballot on April 27, several individuals we spoke with said they were still undecided or have yet to open the envelope.
“I haven’t had a chance to read through the stuff,” said northeast Portland resident Raymond Annable, 32. “But I will.”
Annable said he has yet to decide who he will vote for mayor, but he knows he wants the next mayor to be liberal and have a strong focus on jobs.
Roger Foggia, 56, another northeast Portland resident, said the inability to trust all politicians has made him question whether or not he will cast a vote.
“It’s an important election, but I am becoming more and more complacent because I feel like people across the board are willing to say whatever it takes to get elected,” he said. “It has little to do with what they are about.”
Darlene Burks, 79, said she doesn’t know about any of the candidates.
“I want to vote, but I don’t want to vote for the wrong person,” she said.
Anthony Bates, also a resident of northeast Portland, said he wished that Mayor Sam Adams would run again, because he felt he did a good job while in office.
He said, however, out of the three leading candidates, he will probably vote for Jefferson Smith because he has heard some of his “rhetoric.”
Election officials are expecting increased interest in the election in the coming days, but not as much as when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were on the ballot four years ago.
Every election has its ups and downs, and every election is unique, Sample said.