Oregon campaigns sprint toward finish line

Oregon campaigns sprint toward finish line

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Time is running short for Oregon voters to get their ballots into a drop box, and campaigns worked feverishly Monday to help them do it.

With the pool of outstanding ballots shrinking daily, campaigns have turned much of their attention from winning over undecided voters to turning out their supporters. It's too late to mail a ballot, but voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to drop theirs into an official collection box. A way to find available drop sites is available from the Oregon secretary of state's website.

By the end of the weekend, 50 percent of ballots had been returned — slightly fewer than the 55 percent that had been turned in by the Sunday before the 2008 election. Democrats had an edge, with 43 percent of the ballots returned so far coming from registered Democrats, compared with 35 percent coming from Republicans.

Oregon isn't one of the swing states that will decide the presidential election, but a few state races are hotly contested, and control of the state Legislature is up for grabs. In the hotly contested race for secretary of state, Democratic incumbent Kate Brown and Republican challenge Knute Buehler spent the weekend rallying supporters and promised to keep up the work until time runs out.

"We feel really good about the number of Oregonians getting their ballots in for Kate Brown, but our efforts will continue right up until 8 p.m. tomorrow night," Brown campaign spokeswoman Jillian Schoene said Monday. "We've had a strong field operation going for a couple of months now - tons of volunteers calling and knocking on doors, reminding Oregonians to vote."

Buehler spent Monday knocking on doors in his hometown of Bend, and he planned to spend early Tuesday doing the same before going to Portland for election-night events with supporters in all three counties that comprise the Portland metro area.

"We're feeling pretty good," said Buehler campaign spokesman Kevin Curry. "I think we've run a great race and we've done everything we can. It's the day before, you keep doing everything you can, calling every undecided and last-minute voter who hasn't sent in their ballot."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.