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State says 10 percent of general election ballots already returned

Talk about voting early.

About 10 percent of Oregon’s 2.2 million registered voters have returned their vote-by-mail ballots for the general election.

The secretary of state’s office reported this week that just six days after vote-by-mail ballots arrived at homes across the state for the Nov. 6 general election, 226,456 voters had returned their ballots by Wednesday, Oct. 24. The breakdown of voters includes 102,763 Democrats and 77,319 Republicans who had returned their ballots. About 33,117 unaffiliated voters have also returned their ballots.

Add all the other parties to the mix and the secretary of state’s office reported that 10.3 percent of voters have so far cast ballots.

In the Portland area, 9.9 percent (44,934) of the registered voters in Multnomah County returned ballots; 10.3 percent (30,007) in Washington County; and, 12.7 percent (29,034) in Clackamas County.

At this point in the 2008 general election about 15 percent of the state’s ballots had been returned, according to the secretary of state’s office.