Jordan Valley’s Battle of the Write-ins


By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

JORDAN VALLEY — Election drama can descend on the most unusual places.

Even remote Jordan Valley.

Last week’s ballot included two seats on the Jordan Valley City Council – but no candidates.

Now, though, four are people tied in write-in votes for those seats. Ballot counting is still underway to determine who will join three others on the council serving a community of about 175.

Malheur County Clerk Deborah DeLong said her office still must check to see if write-in candidates qualify before declaring winners. That process will take a while, DeLong said.

“It will be 14 days,” DeLong said. She wouldn’t release names of the write-in candidates until then.

Mayor Marie Kershner said she is pleased that there is apparently a high level of interest in the two open positions.

“I am glad someone wants to do it,” Kershner said.

The council meets once a month and usually there isn’t a lot on the agenda or much action taken, Kershner said.

“They haven’t talked about one solid issue in four different meetings,” Kershner said.

The city council consists of four positions, including the mayor. Frank Beckwith and Elias Cline filled two slots but Beckwith is going to step down and Cline moved, Kershner said.

Meanwhile, Jordan Valley resident Teri Arnall gathered 30 signatures to get on the ballot and was not challenged.

Arnall said the number of write-in votes for the two positions doesn’t surprise her.

“I never thought anything about it,” she said.

Arnall is retired from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

She was surprised at the number of registered voters in the city when she collected signatures in pursuit of the council seat.

“I was amazed at how many who lived in town were not registered,” she said.

Arnall doesn’t know who was written in for the two open seats.

“Pretty much the same people are doing everything. Once they find out you are willing to be involved they try to get you. There are not a whole lot of new people who come up,” she said.