Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Raining cats and ballots

Northwest Oregon and western Washington are being bombarded by heavy rains and flooding again today, creating inconvenience for some and outright disaster for others. But will it effect today's election?

There will undoubtedly be some impact, as those procrastinators who haven't yet dropped off their ballots at a collection site (or mailbox in the case of Washington voters). But if voters had to physically go to the polls today, like they do in most states, turnout in the areas hardest hit by this late fall storm would likely be down significantly.

Those in the rural parts of the state east of the Cascade Mountains may wish Oregon and Washington, why generally find it more convenient to vote from home than to drive to town to vote may be wishing this election wasn't a vote-by-mail variety this time. If voter turnout were down significantly in west-side precincts, those on the drier side of Northwest life may actually see their vote count for more.

I'll be trying to post some results tonight on some key West Coast races and ballot measures affecting agriculture on the Capital Press website after the polls close at 8 p.m. and vote tallies become available sometime thereafter — that is, weather permitting.

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