Local News That Matters

UPDATES: City council wants input on infrastructure bond

May 16, 2022 at 4:54pm

Fewer than 20% of eligible Marion County voters cast ballots a day out from primary

A ballot box in Marion County. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Fewer than 20% of registered voters in Marion County have cast ballots one day out from the 2022 primary election.

Marion County residents have returned 40,621 ballots, or 18.6% of 217,877 total registered voters in the county according to state Elections Division data updated Monday.

In the 2020 primary, eligible voters in Marion County cast 82,006 total ballots, giving the county 39.4% voter turnout.

Among eligible voters in the county, about 27.2% of Democrats (16,876), 27.5% of Republicans (16,905), 5.9% of nonaffiliated (4,736), and 16.3% of Independent (1,619) have cast ballots in this year's primary.

Polk County residents have returned 11,985 ballots, or 19.2% of 62,325 eligible voters.

In 2020, 43.5% of Polk County eligible voters cast a ballot, with 25,728 ballots returned in the May primary.

Among registered Polk County voters, about 26.2% of Democrats (4,632), 25.7% of Republicans (4,927), 8.1% of nonaffiliated (1,715), and 18.1% of Independent (580) have cast ballots in this year's primary.

If you still need to return you ballot, you can find a list of Marion County drop boxes here and Polk County here

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

May 16, 2022 at 3:39pm

USPS reopens orders for free at-home Covid tests

U.S. residents can now order at-home Covid rapid tests through the U.S. Postal Service (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

The U.S. Postal Service is again mailing free rapid Covid tests to households that request them.

The agency has opened a third round of free tests after previously offering tests in January and March.

Each household with a U.S. postal address can place an order for eight rapid tests, which will be delivered for free, according to the agency's website. Orders will ship in two packages of four tests each.

Order tests online here. A Spanish-language form is here.

Households which did not place previous orders can request additional tests, according to the form.

-Rachel Alexander

May 16, 2022 at 10:45am

Let city councilors hear your thoughts on Salem infrastructure bond

(Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem city councilors want your input as they consider what to include in a $300 million infrastructure package they'll seek voter approval for in the fall.

Councilors meet Monday evening for a work session on the proposed bond and will hear public testimony.

The meeting comes after a city committee of councilors put together a proposed project list which includes replacing city fire trucks, repairs to roads and sidewalks and city park improvements.


City leaders plan to ask voters to greenlight the infrastructure package in the November election. The infrastructure projects won’t raise property tax rates because they will be paid for with bonds replacing older city bonds due to expire.

Councilors will likely vote on a final list of projects to include at their May 23 meeting.

To participate: The meeting will be held virtually at 6 p.m. Monday and streamed on CC:Media, channel 21 and YouTube. Members of the public can submit comments to [email protected] by 5 p.m. Monday. Public comment and testimony may also be provided during the meeting via Zoom. People must pre-register to give live public testimony by 2 p.m. Monday at https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/Public-Comment-at-Salem-City-CouncilMeeting.aspx

-Rachel Alexander