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With less than a day to go until balloting ends in Oregon's special election over temporary taxes to fund the state's Medicaid expansion, only about a third of voters in Benton and Linn counties had returned ballots.

Ballots must be received at county courthouses or official drop boxes no later than 8 p.m. today, Tuesday. The measure is the only item on Tuesday's ballot.

In Benton County, 21,085 of 55,725 ballots (37.8 percent) had been returned as of 4 p.m. Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, the Linn County Clerk’s Office reported that 26,386 out of 83,492 ballots had been returned, or 31.6 percent.

Ballot Measure 101 would impose a 0.7 percent tax on hospital net revenues and a 1.5 percent tax on premiums of health insurance companies, the Public Employees’ Benefit Board and coordinated care organizations that administer the Oregon Health Plan.

The funds would be used to help pay for continued Medicaid insurance coverage for about 400,000 Oregonians added to the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

Federal funds were used to pay for those original additions, but those funds were to decrease annually as states picked up more of the costs.

But the Legislature did not allocate additional funding and the current budget will have a hole of up to $320 million if the measure fails. Proponents say children could lose health care coverage without passage of Measure 101.

Opponents say the Legislature can find the needed funds during the short session that starts in February.

Here's a list of Benton County locations where you can drop off your ballot before 8 p.m. Tuesday:

Outside boxes

• Benton County Courthouse, 120 NW Fourth St., Corvallis. One box is on the courthouse lawn on Fourth Street; another box is by the accessible entrance on Fifth Street. A third box is on the other side of the street on Fifth Street.

• Wells Fargo Bank, Timberhill Shopping Center, 2543 NW Kings Blvd., Corvallis.

• Benton County Sunset Building, 4077 SW Research Way, Corvallis; box is in the parking lot.

• Lincoln Health Center, 121 SE Viewmont Ave., Corvallis; box is in the parking lot.

• North Albany Shopping Center, 621 Hickory Ave. NW, Albany; box is in front of the former Ray's location.

• Monroe Community Library, 380 N. Fifth St., Monroe; box is in the parking lot.

• Philomath Public Library, 1050 Applegate St., Philomath; box is near the main entrance.

Inside boxes

• Benton County Elections Office, basement of courthouse, 120 NW Fourth St., Room 13, Corvallis. Hours, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Corvallis Public Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis. Hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Oregon State University Valley Library, 121 The Valley Library, Corvallis. Open 7 a.m. to midnight (but ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. Tuesday).

• Senior Citizens Center, 2601 NW Tyler Ave, Corvallis. Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Linn-Benton Community College Benton Center, 757 NW Polk Ave., Corvallis. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (but ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. Tuesday).

• City Limits Market, 5800 NW Highway 99W, Corvallis. Hours 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• John Boy’s Alsea Mercantile Store, 186 E. Main St, Alsea. Hours 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.


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