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May 22, 2013
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Low turnout not bad for May election

Interest in the Roseburg School District bond request apparently boosted turnout in Tuesday’s election to 30 percent, the best voter participation in the past five May elections held in odd-numbered years.

The turnout was still smaller than in neighboring Lane and Josephine counties, where voters faced countywide tax measures. Lane County’s turnout was 36 percent, while Josephine County had 52 percent voter participation.

Some 38 percent of the Roseburg School District’s 10,449 voters cast ballots, according to the Douglas County Clerk’s Office. The bond failed 58 percent to 42 percent.

Countywide, 62,865 ballots were sent, and 18,814 were returned.

“We were actually excited by the turnout,” County Clerk Patty Hitt said. “It was better than we had expected.”

No county, state or federal offices were at stake. Over the previous four comparable elections, turnout ranged from 22.4 percent to 24 percent.

By comparison, 80.4 percent of voters cast ballots in last November’s presidential general election.

“So many people don’t even know a lot of these candidates. It’s not like the high-profile races where they see the candidates on TV,” Hitt said.

Many candidates to serve on school boards, fire boards, and water and sanitary district boards ran unopposed. Many seats had no listed candidates. Elections workers will begin tabulating write-in votes Thursday.

“We got a lot of them,” Hitt said.

• You can reach reporter John Sowell at 541-957-4209 or by email at

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The News-Review Updated May 22, 2013 01:28PM Published May 24, 2013 09:56AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.