Election 2012: Romney Wins Oregon and Nebraska
Presumptive nominee inches closer to finish line
With no more major competition, Mitt Romney easily won Tuesday's primaries in Oregon and Nebraska. In Oregon, Romney won with 72.7 percent of the vote, and in Nebraska he won with 70.9 percent of the vote. (Full results at the bottom of this story.)
As of Wednesday morning, Romney claimed 16 of Oregon's 28 delegates, according to the Associated Press. The 35 delegates up for grabs in Nebraska will be awarded at the state convention in July.
Romney's two wins inch him closer to the goal of 1,144 delegates needed to officially win the Republican nomination. He currently has 989 delegates.
Heading into the primaries, it was clear that Romney would be the nominee. He led the field in delegates and he had no major competition left after Ron Paul dropped out of the race on Monday. But voters in Oregon still took the election seriously.
Rather than heading to polling sites, Oregonians voted with mail in ballots.
Oregon Republican Party Chairman for Washington County Rachel Lucas told the Kids Press Corps that Oregon pioneered the vote-by-mail system. She believes that voting in the primary election is important and that mail in voting makes people more likely to vote.
"We are frontrunners in independent thinking, like the pioneers who were first to the west," Lucas told the Kids Press Corps. "We are often first with new ideas in the nation. We are the Pioneer State with the Oregon Trail, so we are independent thinkers by nature."
It was important for Oregonians to vote because they have a say in how the state awards its delegates.
"The delegates we send to represent our state vote according to the percentage Oregon voted," Lucas explained. "Because of this, voters in Oregon and other states can still make a difference."
Because of the mail-in system, many Oregonians were relaxed about Tuesday's primary since they already sent in their ballots.
At a Beaverton car wash, many people had already voted and were getting their cars cleaned instead of waiting in line for hours.
"I love the mail in voting system," Diane Alexander said. "It is very simple and takes very little time."
Another voter at the car wash, Chris Scheller, agreed that the system is incredibly simple.
"I can just drop it off over in near-by Tualatin in a drop box, and drive off," Scheller said. "I believe that more people vote here because of this convenient system."
Despite how easy it is to vote in Oregon, turnout was down by nearly 100,000 votes when compared to the 2008 election.
"Many people don't just bother to vote," Alexander said. "Our futures depend on making good choices and on having good candidates."
Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Jordan McGrain agreed.
Nebraska has a vote-by-mail system, too. But voters can also cast ballots at polling places. McGrain explained that having both ways to vote affects elections by increasing the number of days and number of ways people are able to vote and participate.
But he added it is important to vote because elections decide who makes decisions in our government. The decisions made by voters impact our lives every day.
"It is important that we have a say in who our leaders are," he said.
There are only four primary contests remaining. The next vote will be held on May 22 in Arkansas and Kentucky. This is followed by the Texas primary on May 29. On June 5, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota vote. Utah wraps up the primary campaign on June 26.
May 15 Republican Primary Results
Mitt Romney - 72.7 percent
Ron Paul - 12.5 percent
Rick Santorum - 9.2 percent
Newt Gingrich - 5.6 percent
Mitt Romney - 70.9 percent
Rick Santorum - 14 percent
Ron Paul - 9.9 percent
Newt Gingrich - 5.2 percent
Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.
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Jacob Schroeder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps,