VOTE 2020

VOTING VITALS: Ballot return data, voting information for Oct. 22

Here’s your quick look at how the 2020 general election is going, with daily updates on ballot return information, details on past voting and a collection of stories from the news team at Salem Reporter on this year’s election.


Marion County – 54,544 ballots returned (25.3% of registered voters)

Polk County – 12,962 ballots returned (21.4% of registered voters)

Oregon – 736,109 ballots returned (25% of registered voters)

2016 voter turnout:

Oregon: 2,051,448 votes (80.3% turnout)

Marion County: 141,140 votes (77.5% turnout)

Polk County: 41,455 votes (79.9% turnout)

2016 presidential results:


Trump (R): 782,403 votes/39.09%

Clinton (D): 1,002,106 votes/50.07%

Stein (Green): 50,002/2.50%

Johnson (Libertarian): 94,231/4.71%

Marion County 

Trump (R): 63,377 votes/48.35%

Clinton (D): 57,788 votes/44.08%

Stein (Green): 2,868/2.19%

Johnson (Libertarian): 7,058/5.38%

Polk County

Trump (R): 18,940 votes/47.00%

Clinton (D): 16,420 votes/40.75%

Stein (Green): 907/2.25 %

Johnson (Libertarian): 2,254/5.59%


All ballot boxes will be accessible until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Regular hours for other days listed below.

 MARION COUNTY (Full list here):

Marion County Clerk, 555 Court St. N.E., Ste 2130 -8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays

Marion County Health, 3180 Center St. N.E. – Curbside (24 hours)

Roth’s Fresh Market, 3045 Commercial St. S.E. -6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Roth’s Fresh Market, 4555 Liberty Rd. S. – 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Roth’s Fresh Market, 4746 Portland Rd. N.E. – 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Marion County Public Works, 5155 Silverton Rd. N.E. – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

POLK COUNTY (Full list here):

Roth’s Fresh Markets, 1130 Wallace Rd. N.W. – 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily


1. Fill out both sides of your ballot. You don’t have to vote in every race, but make sure you’re not overlooking the back of the ballot – or returning a blank ballot.

2. Don’t forget to sign your ballot envelope on the marked line. 

3. Double-check you’re signing your envelope, not a spouse’s or roommate’s.

4. Don’t return your ballot late. After Oct. 27, ballots should not be mailed. Use a drop box.

5. Don’t ignore mail from the county clerk’s office. If you get a letter or postcard after the election, it’s likely because there was a problem with your signature which you can fix.

TRACK YOUR BALLOT: See when it’s received, processed

MyVote for all Oregon voters

BallotTrax for Marion County voters (requires registration with a phone number or email address)


Marion County clerk – (503) 588-5041

Polk County clerk – (503) 623-9217

ELECTION REPORTS: The voting process

VOTE 2020: Ballots go out this week for Oregon voters. Here’s how to make sure yours gets counted.

Signature mismatches and late ballot returns cost about 2,500 Marion and Polk county voters a say in Oregon’s 2018 election for governor. We asked elections clerks what you need to know for 2020.

VOTE 2020: Across the political spectrum, Oregon elections officials say mail delays won’t affect the election

Marion and Polk county clerks say they’re getting more questions ahead of this election as a record number of voters across the U.S. plan to vote by mail. But in Oregon, it’s business as usual.

VOTE 2020: Al Davidson helped pioneer mail-in voting. But other states’ plans to vote by mail this election worry him 

While vote-by-mail is now popular in Oregon, Davidson said it took years to implement and to convince the public to embrace a practice that faced initial skepticism. Other states don’t have the same time. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether angry or hopeful, your ballot speaks for you. We’re here to help

EDITOR’S NOTE: Signs are that voter interest in the 2020 election is intense, judging by huge turnout in other states during early voting. Salem Reporter is doing what it can to help you understand how Oregon elections function and what’s being done to guard against fraud.

ELECTION REPORTS: Candidate profiles

VOTE 2020: With an eye toward resolving conflict, Lyle Mordhorst seeks to keep his seat as Polk County commissioner

Lyle Mordhorst was appointed a Polk County commissioner in January 2019 and points to various successes he’s had during that time, including key infrastructure projects. He’s running in the Nov. 3 election against retired U.S. Navy officer Danny Jaffer.

VOTE 2020: Danny Jaffer seeks to unseat incumbent Polk County commissioner, insisting he can provide leadership during crisis

Danny Jaffer is running against Lyle Mordhorst, who was appointed a Polk County commissioner last year. Jaffer points to his career in the Navy as preparing him to work with those he doesn’t agree with by being willing to talk to them.

VOTE 2020: Danielle Bethell seeks restraint in county spending in bid for Marion County commission

Bethell, a Republican, is running against Democrat Ashley Carson Cottingham for Marion County commissioner in the upcoming election. The pair are approaching the role from two different backgrounds, one in the private sector and the other from her role in government. 

VOTE 2020: With a public sector background, Ashley Carson Cottingham wants to shift the county’s focus to the most vulnerable

The Democrat is making a bid for a seat on the Marion County commission that has been a Republican stronghold for decades. 

VOTE 2020: As Denyc Boles runs to keep her Senate seat, Republicans hope for a political counterweight

Democrats have gained a small advantage in voter registration in the crescent-shaped district that includes south Salem and surrounding areas. But Republicans are hoping that there’s enough discontent with Democratic rule to help Boles keep the seat. 

VOTE 2020: With a focus on health care, Deb Patterson makes another attempt to flip a Senate seat

Senate District 10, which includes south Salem and other areas, has long been held by Republicans. But with the longtime incumbent not on the ballot this year, Democrat Deb Patterson sees a chance. The race’s outcome could tilt the state’s political balance.

VOTE 2020: Paul Evans wants to change how Oregon responds to emergencies. But first, he must beat a well-heeled challenger

For the second time, the Monmouth Democrat will face off with Republican Selma Pierce. While Pierce is well-funded, other factors favor Evans.

VOTE 2020: In her second run for state rep, Selma Pierce hopes to get both sides talking in a divided Legislature

Pierce is squaring off in a rematch with Democrat Paul Evans for a House seat covering west Salem and Monmouth. It’s a race that’s statewide attention. A former dentist, she wants to expand career and technical education while helping small businesses.

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