The Emerald's reporters will cover local, county, state and national election results as they occur.
Updated at 3:15 p.m. to include additional information on voter turnout in previous elections.
Updated at 4:30 p.m with information on how late Oregonians can vote and mental health resources for students.
Updated at 5:30 p.m. with information about why this election may take longer to call than in previous years.
Updated at 8:30 p.m. with federal election numbers in Oregon.
Updated at 8:40 p.m. with some state election results and updated federal election numbers.
Updated at 10:34 p.m. with some election results and updated federal election numbers.
Updated at 11 p.m. and midnight with new ballot return rates.
Federal race updates
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, about 80.3% of Oregon’s registered voters have returned their ballots, according to the Oregon Secretary of State website.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took Oregon with about 58% of the state’s vote, while President Donald Trump held 39%, according to partial early returns Tuesday night.
Oregon’s 4th District:
State Rep. Peter DeFazio will retain his seat in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District after defeating Alex Skarlatos with nearly 53% of the vote, according to the Oregon Secretary of State elections site.
The incumbent DeFazio racked up 226,962 votes, while the Republican Skarlatos took 194,630. The race totalled 430,786 votes.
DeFazio, who has been in office since 1987, ran as a member of the Democratic and Working Families parties and as a write-in Independent, according to the Oregon Secretary of State website.
The 4th District comprises Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Roseburg, Florence and Coos Bay.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley won the race for one of Oregon’s two U.S. Senate spots with 57.8% of the vote, according to the Oregon secretary of state website. Republican challenger and QAnon follower Jo Rae Perkins reportedly has 38.7% of the vote. NPR reports that 75% of votes in Oregon have been counted.
State race updates
Secretary of state:
The Oregonian/OregonLive is calling the race for Oregon secretary of state for Democrat Shemia Fagan, a former state senator. She beats Republican state senator Kim Thatcher in a 52.1% to 41.8% advantage, according to the Oregon secretary of state website.
Oregon state treasury:
The Oregonian is reporting voters re-elected democratic incumbent Tobias Read as state treasurer, beating Republican challenger and Lake Oswego investor Jeff Gudman. Read leads by a substantial margin of over 13% as of 10:13 p.m.
Incumbent Ellen Rosenblum wins a landslide victory against Republican challenger Michael Cross with a lead of almost 18% as of 10:13 p.m.
State ballot measures
Measure 107, currently more than 80% favored, will allow laws limiting political campaign contributions and expenditures. It will also permit laws that require disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures, as well as who makes political contributions and pays for political advertisements. The current Oregon Constitution prohibits limitations on campaign expenditures.
Oregonians voted Tuesday to increase taxes on cigarettes and to start taxing e-cigarettes starting Jan. 1. The measure raises Oregon’s cigarette tax from $1.33 to $3.33 a pack, increases the maximum cigar tax to $1 each and establishes a tax for e-cigarettes and other nicotine vaping products, which will be taxed at 65% of the wholesale price.
Taxes on nicotine products are currently $1.33 per pack and up to 50 cents per cigar. E-cigarettes are not being taxed at all.
The state estimates that the additional tax will increase state revenues by $331.4 million in 2021-23. Ninety percent of that revenue will go to the Oregon Health Plan, with the remaining going to tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.
Oregon voters made the historic move to legalize the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. It is the first state to legalize the use of the substances found in what’s commonly called “magic mushrooms.” The measure passed with around 56% of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
Related: “Ethos: Treating Trauma with Psilocybin”
Measure 109 does not legalize the commercial selling or use of psilocybin, but allows licensed therapists in state-approved centers to use the substance to treat patients with mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression.
The Oregon Health Authority has two years to develop standards and practices with the substance before it rolls out its use in therapeutic settings.
Oregon voters passed Measure 110, making a historic move in becoming the first state to decriminalize possessing small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone and other drugs. 59.1% of voters supported the measure, while 40.9% did not.
The measure instead institutes a $100 fine or a health evaluation with an addiction treatment professional. A portion of tax revenues from marijuana sales will fund addiction recovery centers in Oregon.
Oregonians have returned over 2.3 million ballots as of 10:13 p.m., with 2,951,397 registered voters, according to the Oregon Secretary of State website.
Jeff Merkley retained his Senate Seat over his Republican opponent, Jo Rae Perkins.
Merkley, who ran as a member of the Democratic and Working Families parties and as an independent, claimed nearly 59% of the vote with 1,153,033 total, while Perkins took nearly 38% with 748,242.
Vice President Joe Biden takes the lead in Oregon for the presidential race with over 58% of the vote at 1,167,382. President Donald Trump has nearly 39% with 780,019 votes.
Over 82% of Lane County's registered voters have returned their ballots, breaking the 2016 rate of 81%.
Many voters in the county are sending in their ballots earlier to ensure they arrive on time to be counted for the high-stakes election.
More Oregonians have voted early in the 2020 election than during the 2016 election. Ten days before the Nov. 3 deadline, 31% of the eligible population had voted. In 2016, just 17% had, according to KLCC.
As of Tuesday at midnight, 224,000 of Lane County’s registered voters have sent in their ballots, according to Lane County Elections, passing the figure from the 2016 election, 196,413.
About 274,000 people are registered to vote in Lane County. That’s more than in 2016, when 242,000 were eligible — a gap of about 30,000 people.
Across Oregon, more than 2.3 million Oregonians have voted, beating out 2016’s rate during the previous presidential election, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive. This accounts for more than two-thirds of the state’s registered voters and half its population.
During the 2016 election, 80.3% of Oregon’s registered voters returned their ballots – about 2 million people, according to historical election data from the Secretary of State. The same percentage of voters have done so as of Tuesday, though there are 400,000 more registered voters in this year's election than in 2016.
Elections: the basics
What is the Electoral College?
Many people on election night will discuss the Electoral College, the United States’ method of electing the next President.
When someone votes for the president, their vote does not directly dictate who becomes the next president. Instead, their vote goes to who they want their slate of electors to be. Electors act as stand-ins for the major party nominees, Politico reported, so each party has their own slate of electors.
The winner of the popular vote will decide which of the major parties sends the slate of electors to the Electoral College. Those electors meet in their respective state after election night to cast their votes. This year, it’s Dec. 14, according to the State of Oregon elections division.
A candidate needs to earn 270 electoral votes to become the president for the next four years, so each candidate will collect electoral college votes from a number of states. The number of electoral votes per state is determined by the number of congresspeople representing it. Densely states will have more electoral votes, like California’s 55 or Texas’ 38. Likewise, states with smaller populations will have less votes, like Alaska’s one or Delaware’s three.
Oregon has seven electoral votes.
Many states vote dependably either Republican or Democrat. That’s where swing states come in. Oregon isn’t a swing state — it’s voted solidly Democrat since 1988 — but several states are not solidly right-leaning or left-leaning.
Those states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin
Races largely come down to these states, known as “battleground states,” in presidential elections.
Many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates voiced their belief that the United States should abandon the Electoral College model because of the emphasis placed on just 11 states. Notably, former candidate Elizabeth Warren advocated for its abolishment, with fellow candidates Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg thinking similarly.
How late can I get my vote in?
The general election is on Nov. 3. Though Oregon is known as a vote-by-mail state, the U.S. Postal Service recommends mailing in ballots by a week before the election. Those who haven’t mailed their ballots must either drop them in an official ballot drop box, or bring them to the office of the county clerk. The Lane County Clerk’s office is open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
There are 10 drop-off locations in the Eugene-Springfield area. The Oregon Secretary of State website provides resources for finding the closest drop-off location. Voters can use these drop boxes until 8 p.m. this evening.
The last day for the Lane County Clerk to certify the county’s election results is Nov. 23.
This election is stressing me out. What mental health resources are available?
Elections are stressful. University Counseling Services compiled a list of resources happening over the next few days to help handle stress, anxiety and mental health issues.
University Counseling Services hosts a virtual workshop on managing stress and anxiety each week on Wednesday. Tomorrow’s session will focus on the election, according to an email sent to students. The session starts at 2 p.m. and runs until 2:50 p.m.
Another weekly rotating workshop on Thursday, Nov. 5, will focus on post-election recovery, running from 2 p.m. until 2:50 p.m.
One-on-one counseling is available through university counseling Monday through Friday. Specific times can be found on University Counseling Services’ website.
University Counseling Services hosts student discussion groups, too. A Latinx and undocumented students connection group, as well as an international student connection group, met virtually on Tuesday.
A Hui Pacifica student group — including Asian, Desi and Pacific Islander students — will meet virtually on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Black CommUNITY will meet on Thursday, as well, from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend Black CommUNITY’s event must register in advance, with resources on University Counseling Services’ website.
University Counseling Services also produced an election stress kit detailing “tips and resources to cope with the current national discourse.”
Why the race may take longer to call this year
Because of the pandemic, more states are allowing mail-in voting than ever before, which may lead to a slower return of ballots. Some battleground states like Pennsylvania will likely not report its results before the night ends, according to reporting from 538. This is because over half of Pennsylvanians voted using absentee ballots, and local county clerks began counting those ballots this morning at 7 a.m. — which is not enough time to finish by day’s end, according to 538.
Other important states for the outcome of the election that aren’t expected to report their results tonight include Nevada, which mailed ballots to every registered voter for the first time in history. While typically a blue state, Nevada could report more red tonight and trend more blue as ballots continue to come over the coming days, according to 538.
This red to blue shift over coming days is expected across the country, as blue voters tend to vote by mail more often than their Republican counterparts, according to 538. The opposite shift could also happen in states where mail-in ballots are counted first with in-person votes counted shortly after that, as in-person voting tends to lean more red.