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Oregon primary turnout at 36 percent

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PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon secretary of state’s office says 36 percent of registered voters cast a ballot before the last day of the primary election.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn in their ballot at a drop box. It’s too late to vote by mail.

The secretary of state says more than 2.2 million Oregonians are eligible to vote in the primary, and nearly 835,000 submitted their ballots by Monday night.

The sparsely populated counties of Harney, Grant, Lake and Hood River have the highest turnout percentages so far, all topping 50 percent. Columbia County trails at 29 percent.

In voter-rich Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, turnout was running slightly below the statewide average.

The presidential race has generated a lot of enthusiasm among Oregonians, with about 160,000 adding their names to the rolls of the two major parties this year — mostly Democrats.

It’s not yet clear how many of those newly registered voters will actually vote. But the secretary of state’s office says more than 1 million votes may be cast in this primary.

Many people wait until the last day or two to fill out their ballots, and then take them to drop boxes.

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