Clatsop County's turnout ended up at about 86 percent. Chief Deputy Clerk Nicole Williams said the county didn't experience the surge in last-minute ballots it expected.

"Everybody voted early," she said.

With more attention focused on the election nationally, the county received more calls from voters with questions about the voting process and their own voting eligibility.

"People would come and say 'I think I'm registered to vote,'" she said.

The county issued about 100 provisional ballots to voters with uncertain eligibility - for example, those who only recently moved to the county and whose registration the elections department wasn't able to verify before the election, Williams said. The department will check on those voters' status, and if they are qualified to vote in Clatsop County and did not cast votes in other jurisdictions, the provisional ballots will then be counted, she said.

The county also hosted several attorneys - three from the John Kerry campaign and two from President Bush's camp - who came to observe the ballot-counting Tuesday. They had questions about the overall process, but did not raise any particular concerns or complaints about the county's handling of the ballots, Williams said.

"They asked a lot of questions, but they were very easy to work with," she said. "I feel like they were satisfied with our procedures."

Several local citizens also had questions about the process - Williams said she invited them to the courthouse to watch the ballot-handling in person. About two dozen observers watched the process throughout the day, but there were no complaints or challenges of voters, she said.

"We spent a lot of time educating observers," she said.


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