Voter turnout nears 50 percent in Douglas County, Oregon

ROSEBURG, ORE. " Nearly half of Douglas County, Oregon's registered voters have cast ballots in today's primary election.

As of this morning, the county elections office has received 31,190 ballots, 49 percent of the 63,312 sent out to local voters.

Residents have until 8 p.m. to turn in their ballots to the elections office in the basement of the Douglas County Courthouse or place them in one of several drop boxes located throughout the county.

Already, the turnout for this election has surpassed what was recorded four years ago in the last presidential primary. The total turnout in May 2004 was only 44.4 percent.

A large percentage of ballots, 16.5 percent, came in that year on Election Day. Local election officials expect a sizable amount to be turned in today.

The Democratic races for president and for U.S. Senator have brought wide interest, along with a ballot measure that would create a service district for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Ballots that have been turned in and processed will begin getting counted this morning. Reports listing the totals cannot be run or released until after 8 p.m.

Results will be available beginning around 8:15 p.m. on www.nrtoday.com.

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