Last call for ballots

Putting ballots through the tabulating machine on Monday in the Malheur County Clerk’s office were election workers Sheena Moore, in the foreground, and Jane Luther.

VALE — Today is the Primary Election and voters have until 8 p.m. to get their ballots into one of four drop boxes around the county; outside the Ontario and Nyssa libraries, near the Jordan Valley Post Office and outside the Malheur County Courthouse.

Election boards for Malheur County began their work last week with opening the envelopes and inspecting ballots to see if they are readable. On Monday afternoon, they began scanning them through the counting machines.

No results will be available until 9 p.m. Mountain Time, when voting ends across the state.

Because they are considered essential, the election boards are exempt from following the social distancing mandate, County Clerk Gayle Trotter said. However, members will be 4- to 6-feet apart. They have been given gloves, masks and hand sanitizer, she said.

Malheur County’s only race is for the Republican nomination for county commissioner in which incumbent Larry Wilson is facing a challenge from Jim Mendiola and Ron Jacobs.

State Sen. Lynn Findley is unopposed in the Republican Primary in District 30 but will face a Democratic Challenger, Carina Miller from Warmsprings, the lone candidate on that ballot.

State Rep. Mark Owens, Crane, is unopposed on the Republican ballot for his District 60. Democrats are deciding between Isabelle Fleuraud, of Hines and Beth Spell, of John Day.

The big race across the state is who will replace retiring U.S. Rep. Greg Walden in the U.S. House, with a host of Republicans, 11, including former Oregon legislator Cliff Bentz, of Ontario, and Democrats vying for the seat.

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