Oregon Democrats’ supermajority in jeopardy

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Boles could be within 170 votes of Patterson in District 10 race

Editor’s note: This story has been reverted back to an earlier version until a race can be called.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — All political eyes in Oregon are on one race for Senate.

Late ballots are threatening Democrats’ supermajority in the chamber, as incumbent Republican Sen. Denyc Boles is making a surge to close the gap on Democrat Deb Patterson. Only 387 ballots separate the two with hundreds of ballots still to count. On Wednesday, Patterson had a lead of 2,368. Since then approximately 4,500 ballots have been counted in Marion County.

“We did see an interesting shift, the last group of votes we counted two-thirds went to Denyc Boles and one-third went to Deb Patterson,” explained Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess. “They came primarily from ballots picked up late election day, from drop sites.”

Burgess told KOIN 6 his office will count approximately 680 more ballots Friday. If those break at the same ratio, Boles would be within approximately 170 votes of Patterson in the District 10 Senate Race.

According to the latest data, 680 votes at a two-thirds ratio would mean about 448 additional votes for Boyles and 231 for Patterson.

In Marion County there are also approxiametely 960 additional ballots that have not been processed because they have a problem with their signatures. Burgess says his office has sent out letters to each of those voters, asking them to take steps to verify their ballots by 5pm November 17th. The earliest those votes could be counted is November 18th, and how those ballots would affect the vote tally is unknown.

If Patterson can hold on, Democrats would hold an 18-12 majority over Republicans. Losing one seat would mean losing their supermajority. Democrats had hopes of reaching 20 seats in the Senate and 40 in the House to make the legislature walkout proof, but Democrats will fall short of both goals.

District 10 also covers Polk County. The uncounted ballot situation there is less clear.

“That is the question of the day,” said Polk County Clerk Val Unger. She was not able to supply numbers on how many regular ballots are left to count in her county’s portion of District 10. “We will have a better idea next week.” She told KOIN 6 Friday there are 270 ballots in Polk County that have signature problems and need to be verified by voters by the 17th.

Burgess said the election will not be decided until it is certified November 23rd.

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