EUGENE, Ore. - Voter turnout in Lane County so far is lagging behind the pace of the 2008 presidential election.
Officials, however, think the numbers will catch up by the weekend.
After the first week of voting--the numbers are in.
20% of Lane County voters have mailed in their November election ballots.
Which isn't bad, but it lags behind the 24% return rate after the first week of the 2008 fall election.
Lane County election managers still expect a big final turnout when it's all over, anywhere from 85% to 90% of ballots.
They do want voters to know the mail-in deadline is just around the corner.
"We recommend that voters stop mailing them back after this Thursday. So you can drop them in the mail this Thursday but starting Friday on (Nov. 2),
we recommend that you utilize one of our 21 drop site locations," explains Cheryl Betschart, the Lane County Clerk.
Betschart fully expects the ballot return numbers will pick up, given the presidential election and the high number of Oregon ballot measures.
She says a lot of voters still like to wait for the real election day before they turn in their ballots.
"That's true--we do receive our higher return on the day before the election and on election day and that's typically the patterns that have
been in place for a number of years, but certainly you see that more for the presidential election," says Betschart.
She stresses if you still have not received your mail in ballot, now is the time to call Lane County elections to check your status.
The statewide (Oregon) ballot return rate so far for the election is 19%.