GATES, Ore. (KOIIN) — There are still several cities in Oregon waiting to find out who won their local elections — but not because the races are close.
These are cities where nobody ran for office.
In Gates, which has a population of just 495, it’s going to take a few weeks, because every ballot for local positions was a write-in. That’s 218 votes for city councilors and 130 for mayor.
City recorder Traci Archer said the Marion County elections office will tell her who got the most write-in votes, then she’ll send those people a letter and they’ll decide whether they want to take on the title.
“There’s not a lot of people in this town and a lot of people have already done their time,” Archer said.
Incumbent Mayor Jerry Marr missed the deadline to officially run for re-election. He said he was waiting for someone else to take the job. Since no one did, he hopes voters will have him back.
“I tell people that I’m sorry I didn’t get on the ballot, but if I’m written in, I’m more than willing to serve,” Marr said.
Gates isn’t the only Oregon city relying on write-ins to fill their seats. Just down Highway 22, the city if Idanha had 5 empty councilor seats and no one to run for them.
“It’s not a big town– usually they fill right in,” Mayor Jeffrey Yohe said. “You’re not gonna have 100% everybody on board, but there are people that care.”
The same thing happened in four other cities, with a seventh city not having enough candidates to fill all open seats.
The counties have until November 26 to get the write-in totals to the proper city halls. The winners then have to decide if they want the jobs.