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Benton County among highest voter turnout rates in May primary

Tiffany Eckert
Statewide turnout was 37.2% in the May, 2022 primary.

Voters in Benton County were among the most likely to cast a ballot in the May primary election.

With this week’s deadline for county elections’ offices to certify results, the final turnout in Benton County was 45.2%.

Only six counties had a higher turnout, and all of them are smaller than Benton in terms of population. Five of the other six counties are in eastern Oregon, with the lone exception being Tillamook County.

Turnout was much higher in Benton County for voters who are registered with a major party.

Democrats and Republicans had several hotly contested primaries, including a crowded race for governor. Democrats in Benton County also had multiple candidates to choose from in the primary for Congressional District 4.

In the end, 58.2% of Benton County’s Democrats and 55.3% of the county’s Republicans cast a ballot.

Across the Willamette River in Linn County, voter turnout was on the opposite end of things. Just 34.5% of that county’s voters turned in a ballot for the May primary.

Only four Oregon counties had a lower turnout rate than Linn County: Columbia, Jackson, Malheur and Umatilla.

In Lane County, meanwhile, the turnout rate was 36.3%.

That’s just below the overall state turnout rate of 37.2%

Lincoln, Douglas and Deschutes Counties were all above the state’s overall turnout rate.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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