Ballots are streaming into Hood River County Elections

Oct. 31 is final day voters should plan to mail their ballots

SIGNS note that parking is restricted to ballot drop-off only on State Street in front of the County Building.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
SIGNS note that parking is restricted to ballot drop-off only on State Street in front of the County Building.

Ballots are coming in at a pace of about 500-600 per day, according to Hood River County Elections Coordinator Kim Kean.

On Monday, her staff took in 945 ballots, and few seem to have problems with signatures, Kean said.

“I suspect today will be big day, because we’ll receive all the ballots that were mailed between Saturday and Monday.”

So far, a total of 31 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots.

Balloting continues in the general election until 8 p.m. Nov. 6. All votes must be in the hands of the County Elections department by that time — postmarks do not count.

Oct. 31 is the last day voters should plan to mail in their ballot, with any assurance it will arrive at the county in time to be counted Tuesday, according to Kean. Previously, she had given Nov. 1 as the mail-in deadline, but given the high volume of mail expected, she urged the Oct. 31 mail date.

Kean reiterated the basic protocol for ensuring ballot eligibility for each voter:

n Make sure you sign your ballot envelope, and only the one with your name on it.

n If you are registered but have moved or changed your address, contact the Elections office at 541-386-1442..

n Call that number if you have not yet received your ballot.

Ballots can be dropped off at the county building, 601 State St., and at Cascade Locks City Hall, until 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

Another change this year is parking restrictions on State Street at the Hood River building. Signs posted last week note that the spaces need to be kept free for people pulling up to drop off their ballots.

The spaces directly in front of the building do not have parking meters, so traditionally downtown employees and patrons park in those spots for extended periods, making it difficult for voters who want to simply pull up and deliver their ballots, according to Kean.

At least two spaces will be reserved for ballot delivery all the way through 8 p.m. Nov. 6, she said.

Kean also reminded motorists that political signs — including car window and bumper stickers — are not allowed to park within 100 feet of a polling place. That means cars carrying those signs cannot park in front of the county building or Cascade Locks City Hall.

This does not apply to cars pulling up to deliver ballots.

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The Nov. 6 ballot contains local, state and federal races and ballot measures, including U.S. President, the second District Congressional race between incumbent Greg Walden and Democratic challenger Joyce Segers, the State House District 52 race between incumbent Mark Johnson and his challenger, Rhododendron Democrat Peter Nordbye, and the Local Option Levy proposed for renewal by Hood River County School District.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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