Clatsop County election officials received around 3,300 last-minute ballots, which was about 30 percent of the total ballots returned, on election day Tuesday to push its voter turnout numbers past 50 percent.

Voter turnout had been hovering below 40 percent before the surge on the last day of the election.

Overall, 10,607 Clatsop County residents voted during the May primary election. There are 20,236 registered voters in Clatsop County.

Maeve Grimes, the Clatsop County clerk who oversees elections, said it’s not uncommon to receive a large number of ballots back on a Tuesday. But this time around, she feels most people procrastinated.

“Usually we get a lot more on the last day,” Grimes said. “But it wasn’t like we had issues this election where voters were hemming and hawing to make their decision. I think they had made up their minds.”

By reaching the 50 percent benchmark, Grimes said the county met her goal for voter turnout. The county’s turnout well exceeded the state average, which was 38 percent, as of this morning.

The vote counting isn’t 100 percent completed.

Today, county officials will be hand-counting ballots for precinct committees for the local Democratic and Republican parties.

Officials with the county will also review ballots returned by nonaffiliated voters allowed to cast ballots in the Republican primary. Though 150 nonaffiliated voters in Clatsop County had requested the Republican ballots, fewer than 50 returned them.

Grimes said she believed nonaffiliated voters agreed to take part in the Republican primary before realizing so few Republicans were running.

The only Republicans running were Knute Buehler for Secretary of State, running unopposed, Jim Welsh for Oregon House District 32, also running unopposed, and Lisa Michaels and Delinda Morgan competing for the U.S. House District 1 position.

“One problem was that Republicans didn’t have candidates for all three state positions,” Grimes said, referring to the positions of secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.

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