Oregon voters go to the polls today in a primary election which could help presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney get closer to the magic number of 1,144 delegates (he only needs 171 more) necessary to clinch the nomination once and for all.
But Ron Paul supporters keep marching in the Beaver State, determined to wrestle the Republican Party establishemt and mainstream media in the race, doing their best to add as many of the state's 25 delegates at stake as possible to the libertarian icon's colum.
Polls close at 8 p.m.
PolicyMic will be live-updating the Oregon primary.
11:29 p.m. 54% of the votes are in and Romney counts with 133,051 votes against Paul's 22,369, which keeps the partial result at 73% for Romney and 12% for Paul.
11:17 p.m. With 40% of the precints reported, Mitt Romney is ahead with 98,321 votes (73%) against Ron Paul's 16,434 (12%), which makes Romney the projected winner.
10:30 pm: Key races on the ballot include the Portland Mayor's race, where Charlie Hales, Eileen Brady and Jefferson Smith have been in a tight battle. Also up for election is a seat on the Portland City Council, and a number of statewide races including a hotly contested race for the Oregon Attorney General's office.
8:34 p.m. Less than three hours away from the polls' official closing time, Ron Paul supporters are taking to Twitter and other social networks to keep up the level of enthusiasm for their candidate as mainstream media outlets recognize that even if Romney "cleans up" tonight he will still be falling short of the magic delegate number to officially clinch the nomination. In the meantime, it's been known that Ron Paul will speak at the upcoming Minnessotta Republican convention (Friday, May 18th), and that support for his libertarian candidacy continues firm in the upcoming California primary (June 5).
6:33 p.m. It is possible that low turnout numbers so far are misleading. Though the latest information shows the lowest turnaout in urban counties, this might be due to the fact that voters from the urban centers have easier access to county election offices and ballot dropboxes. As these voters wait, they might be able to react to last-minute developments which could potentially influence their vote.
5 p.m. Voter turnout as of Tuesday morning stood at 26% statewide for the Oregon Primary Elections. The State Elections Division reported that Republican turnout was at 32%, while Democratic one was at 30%.
With only a handful of contested races on the ballot, voter turnout going into today’s vote-by-mail primary election has been barely more than a trickle.
Background: Oregon has a vote-by-mail primary.
If these have not yet been mailed, voters have until 8 p.m. to drop one off at the elections office or any of the dozen drop boxes scattered around the state.
Primary elections tend to be fairly low-key affairs, but this one is even more sluggish than most, perhaps because the major-party presidential nominations are essentially wrapped up.
President Barack Obama had no opposition from within his own Democratic Party in his run for a second term, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has all but sealed the GOP nod, although Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum also appear on Oregon ballots.