Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oregon Has Already Voted

The presidential primary in Oregon today is quite unique - no one in the state will be going to the polls to vote. Back in 2005, they became the first and only state to have a 100% mail-in ballot. It's a funny story really, and their Secretary of State, Bill Bradley, says the change to mail-in voting was prompted by the actions of a 'cult':

Oregon may be the only state to change its election laws because of a cult. We used to have election day voter registration here. Then the Baghwan Shree Rashneesh brought in thousands of cult followers, registered them to vote on the day of election, and took over the town of Antelope. The Baghwan then poisoned the salad bar. Only in Oregon. In most places you'd have to poison the beer, but in Oregon you go for the salad bar."

Bradbury also notes Oregon was the first state to hold a presidential primary and first to directly elect it's U.S. senators. And says the program drew a participation rate of over 85% in the last presidential election.

The Washington Post reports today too that some problems are trailing this primary:

Tens of thousands of Oregonians switched their registration from Republican or unaffiliated so they could vote in the Democratic primary. But many switched so close to the April 29 deadline that election officials had already prepared ballots to send to them under their previous registrations. Pulling out those ballots would have been too arduous for most counties, so 33,500 voters received ballots for both parties."

As for Kentucky, one NPR report says their voting trends are still dominated by the Civil War and race issues. Also, while they generally vote for national Republican candidates, Democrats hold the lead in local and state offices. And despite a massive margin of victory predicted for Senator Clinton in Kentucky, CQ calls it - 'decisive but hollow'. Poor CQ. In Kentucky, they pronounce it 'holler'.

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