Ballot Time

Deadline nears on a lively Measure 28

The clock is ticking on ballots for the Jan. 28 mail-in Special Election.

Voters who have not turned in their ballots should remember that for ballots to count, the Hood River County Elections Division must have them by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Measure 28, the three-year income tax surcharge, is the only question on the ballot.

The Hood River County tally is ahead of schedule, reflecting the state-wide trend, according to county elections supervisor Lee Shissler. He said that in the first four days after ballots went out, his office received ballots at the rate of 190, 836, 1,017, and 644. That’s a total of 2,771.

An average rate of 687 ballots per day would equate to a total turnout of 7,307, which is 70 percent of the 10,438 registered voters in the county. Shissler predicted a total turnout of between 60-65 percent, “if it continues this way and got the typical last-minute rush on the last couple days.”

Either way, and whatever the outcome of Measure 28, the numbers show that a public issue that many had written off as dead in the water has actually got some paddle to it.

As Shissler pointed out, “It looks like a pretty good turnout for this election. Most people had predicted low turnout and certain defeat, but some of the polls have the election pretty close.”

Measure 28 is a question that matters. To have your voice count in this close race, ballots must be turned in — postmarks don’t count — to the County Courthouse or to Cascade Locks City Hall drop site by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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