Portland, OR

Tuesday in Portland: Oregon voters cast their ballots in Tuesday's primary election and more

Emily Scarvie

(Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday May 17 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Oregon voters cast their ballots in Tuesday's primary election

Oregon’s primary election is on Tuesday and ballots are continuing to roll in as more voters participate. The Secretary of State’s office says 18.1% of Oregon voters have returned their ballot so far. In Multnomah County, 18.4% of voters have submitted their ballot.

The Oregon governor’s race is just one of the elections residents will be voting on. There are currently 19 Republicans and 15 Democrats running for governor. Gov. Kate Brown can’t run again due to term limits.

Voters have until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to return their ballots. This year is the first year that ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day will be counted, after the Oregon Legislature passed a new law last year.

2. Agencies across the state prepare for Oregon's 2022 fire season

Oregon’s fire season is around the corner and Gov. Kate Brown has already declared drought emergencies in 15 counties across the state. Fire officials say it’s a challenging year, but they’ve been able to get the necessary resources ready thanks to funding from the state. Brown signed Senate Bill 762 into law last year, which allocated $220 million to improve wildfire preparedness across the state.

“This is moving the Oregon structural fire service task forces and engines to rural communities where there’s a threat or risk,” Travis Medema, OSD Fire Marshall, said. “It allows us to mobilize immediately should there be significant threat to a community and then lastly it added capacity to work with local communities and Oregon fire service to bolster capacity as needed.”

Despite added preparedness this year, fire officials want the public to be prepared as well. They recommend having a plan in place and being ready in the event of an evacuation.

3. Northwest Battle Buddies holding its 10th annual Freedom Gala

Northwest Battle Buddies is holding its 10th annual Freedom Gala on Saturday at the Oregon Convention Center. The nonprofit brings together veterans and trained service dogs. The event will showcase service animals and the people they serve.

Shannon Walker, the founder and president, said Northwest Battle Buddies has gifted 170 professionally trained service dogs to veterans over the last 10 years. Walker said she’s received messages from veterans they’ve worked with, whose dogs have been able to alert to the adrenaline caused by suicidal ideation and stop them.

The Freedom Gala will feature a live auction, silent auction, live music and a puppy brigade. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased here.

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