It's Election Day—Here's Our Cheat Sheet!

Primary Election Day 2022: What You Should Know

Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

It's the third Tuesday in May in an even-numbered year, which in Oregon can only mean one thing: It's primary election day!

By Oregon standards, this year's race is particularly consequential, as voters are choosing to fill an open governor's seat, and open labor commissioner position, and a slew of local-level offices. Two city council seats and the city auditor's office are up for grabs in Portland, while the top seat in Multnomah County politics (county chair) and law enforcement (sheriff) are also on the ballot. No matter the outcome, this primary election will set the stage for some significant changes in leadership come January 2023, when most of these politicians' terms begin.

Before we tumble into election day chaos, it's important to make a few things clear regarding this year's voting process and results.

Can I still cast a ballot?

Yes! You have until 8 pm to dunk your ballot into a Multnomah County Elections dropbox, which are thoughtfully distributed across the metro region. (Here's a map).

Can I still mail my ballot in?

Surprisingly, yes! This is the first time Multnomah County voters can still have their ballot counted if it's mailed on election day. While in the past, voters had to get their ballot in the mail a certain number of days before the election to be counted, a new law requires elections officials to count all ballots postmarked by today, May 17. To be clear: That means your ballot must be picked up by a mail carrier or dropped off in a USPS mailbox before the scheduled pickup time today—not just placed in your mailbox by midnight. To guarantee your ballot is counted, we recommend dropping your ballot into an election dropbox over a mailbox.

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Savage Love: Freyed Nerves

Joe Newton

I am a 37-year-old heterosexual woman in a monogamous relationship with a het cis male. Let’s call him “Rick.” We’ve been together for five years and engaged for two. Our sex went from passionate, fun, and frequent early in the relationship to nearly nonexistent now. I have gently initiated conversations about how to spice it up—sexy dates, sex toys, new positions, even non-monogamy—but Rick never took me up on any of my suggestions. I encouraged him to get bloodwork done, thinking maybe it was a decline in testosterone or something. I loved him and was legitimately concerned. I also made the pact with myself that I could live with only having sex 4-5 times a year because Rick brought so much “good” to the table. Outside of sex, our relationship is supportive, positive, and fun.

Fast forward: I recently learned that Rick has a profile on an online dating app. We are not in an open relationship, even though I’d offered that as a possible solution to our sex woes. After some mild questioning, his story unraveled. He admitted to exchanging sexy pics and videos with more than 20 women on the internet over the last few years. He was apparently going into our spare bedroom or bathroom to make and send these videos—sometimes when I was home, sometimes when I was waiting in bed for him. After talking with a friend, she confided in me that Rick’s ex had discovered dozens of sexting convos on Rick’s phone with strangers when they were together.

My questions are both general and specific to me. First, is it possible for someone to be incapable of physical intimacy when there is love involved? I’m no expert, but it strikes me as troubling that Rick can’t make love with me—going so far as to blame it on hormonal shifts—when it’s not biological at all; he just prefers to jerk off with strangers. Is this actually a thing? Only being physically attracted to an anonymous, impersonal, meaningless stranger? My next question is: Is there hope for a future with Rick when he is lying to me—a GGG partner who wanted to work through this—and also lying to himself? I think I know the answer, but: am I better off alone?

Sick Of Rick’s Dick Image Doings

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Good Morning, News: Oregonians Sue Over Public Defender Shortage, Not Enough Airflow in Portland Schools, and It's Election Day!

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A person with a dog putting their ballot in a ballot drop box
Vote! Vote! Vote! Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

Good morning, Portland! Here’s what’s happening this morning.

In local news:

• Today is the LAST DAY to vote in the primary election, which has some majorly important races! You can drop your ballot in a ballot box by 8pm or put it in a mail box before the final collection time (the ballot has to postmarked TODAY in order to count). And if you need any help making your final decisions, the Mercury has you covered with our endorsement guide.

• One in four elementary and middle school classrooms in Portland do not meet the minimum recommendations for ventilation, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Additionally, about 60 percent of classrooms don’t meet the higher ventilation levels recommended by air quality experts. Those findings, discovered by an Oregonian investigation, were known by the Portland Public Schools district since last August (before the return to in-person learning), but the district opted not to share the information with students, parents, teachers, or school board. Instead, the district quietly posted airflow test results on a risk management webpage.

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Good Afternoon, News: A Buffalo Massacre Update, Portland Shows Up for Abortion Rights, and EEEK! ELECTION DAY IS TOMORROW!! 😱

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

If this dog can vote AND hold up a sign WHILE wearing a cap... so can you!
If this dog can vote AND hold up a sign WHILE wearing a cap... so can you! Photoboyko / Getty Images

GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Now, I don't want you to panic, but... PANIC!!! A SUPER-DUPER IMPORTANT ELECTION IS TOMORROW, AND OH GOD YA GOTTA VOTE, YA JUST GOTTA!!! (Lucky for you, the Mercury's election cheat sheet will help you fill out that ballot lickety-split—which sounds dirty, but isn't.) SO VOTE! But first, let's dip into some NEWS.

• No big surprise: The state of Oregon is dreadfully lacking in public defenders right now, so it comes as no great shock that some defendants who were charged with a crime, but not given their constitutionally promised lawyers, are now suing. Our Alex Zielinski has more.

• Swinging back around to the subject of "VOTE, GODDAMNIT!!": While voter turnout was looking pretty abysmal for this primary—as is historically the case for non-presidential elections—there was a sudden and meaty bump in voters turning in ballots on Friday. And that might bring us up to numbers closer to the huge turnout in 2018. DON'T BE LEFT OUT OF THE FUN... VOTE, GODDAMNIT!!

• This Saturday, Portlanders showed up in the hundreds to speak out in favor of abortion rights and stick it to the conservative leaning SCOTUS at the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon "Bans Off Our Bodies" rally and march. Photog Mathieu Lewis-Rolland was there and put together this amazing photo essay of great images from an inspiring day.

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The Top 57 Events in Portland This Week: May 16-22, 2022

Don't let this week pass you by without checking out some of the top events that are happening, from Lord Huron to Neil deGrasse Tyson and from the start of The 7th Vanport Mosaic Festival to the 4th Annual Edgefield Brewfest.



Kalmar Conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 9
Oregon Symphony Music Director Laureate Carlos Kalmar will return to conduct a performance of Mahler’s "Ninth Symphony," known to be the composer's final symphonic statement, as well as Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne’s "Within Her Arms," a poignant meditation on loss, love, and life.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

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THE TRASH REPORT: Good Rescues, Bad Moms, and Bras That Are Clothes

If you like Ariana Grande in this dress, you’ll *love* her in less!
If you like Ariana Grande in this dress, you’ll *love* her in less! Robin Marchant / Getty Images Entertainment

Welcome, friends, to another edition of The Trash Report. I am three racoons standing on each other’s shoulders in a trench coat, also known as Elinor Jones. Times are—as usual—bad, but I've dumpster-dived some winners this week and I am hopeful that we can find something to live, laugh, and love about.

Potentially Horrific Situation Turns Out Okay

This isn't a timeline much peppered by happy endings so I really want to boost this story: A huge fire broke out at a residential care facility in Southeast Portland early last Wednesday morning, and every resident was safely rescued. This is amazing, and it sounds like the overnight staff had a huge hand in locating residents and moving them to safety. Their names are Hermie Magistrado and Tim Spencer and they are heroes. This situation could have been so awful, but it wasn't, and that's really nice. So nice, in fact, that the broken-down gray lump I used to call a brain that's so wired for bad news wants to believe it's a trick, but this Oregonian article includes a picture of the residents seated safely outside, so it's real. Something good happened.

But Some Things Are Still Bad

COVID cases are steadily climbing in Multnomah County, prompting Portland Public Schools to urge masking in the classrooms until cases decline. They sent out an email to families on Friday with the recommendation, and like many, I ignore all email from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, so I only saw said recommendation after dropping my child off at school this morning, without a mask, making me feel like a really bad mom. And not a cool bad mom, like Mila Kunis. An actual bad mom, like…well, me, I guess. :(

Cryptocurrency Is Also Bad

I have seen The Big Short and while I don’t understand the math, it taught me not to trust get-rich-quick schemes peddled by a certain type of bro, which is why I've aggressively rolled my eyes at all mentions of cryptocurrency (while again refusing to try to understand the math... YOLO). Now, the market is crashing and I would feel very smug if I didn’t also feel pretty bad for all of the people who were duped into investing by a handful of celebrities and Twitter accounts with cartoon monkey avatars. Celebrities who were quick to hawk the fake money (in exchange for actual money) have been silent on the crash, including Matt Damon:

Seems like my retirement plan of burying cash in my back yard wasn't that bad after all! (Fortunately I also don't understand inflation.)

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Oregonians Sue State for Not Upholding Constitutional Access to Public Defenders


Four Oregonians are suing the state for failing to provide them with a defense attorney to represent them in their criminal cases. The four individuals each face criminal charges and cannot afford to hire an attorney, yet the state has not assigned them a public defender in a reasonable amount of time, as is constitutionally required.

The class action lawsuit places blame squarely on Governor Kate Brown and Stephen Singer, the director of Oregon's Office of Public Defense Services, which oversees and funds the state's contracts with public defense firms. The case estimates that there are at least 500 Oregonians currently without counsel, despite having already been charged with a crime.

The lawsuit demands the state refrain from prosecuting any low-income person with a crime if it cannot provide that person with a lawyer.

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Comedian Niles Abston Returns to Portland to Practice for His Upcoming Special and Say Things He Couldn't Say on the Internet

Photo by Archie Blue, courtesy of Niles Abston

Comedian, writer, and filmmaker Niles Abston has a lot on his mind. He recently made a short film, Notice To Quit, he just got hired to write for a hit FX show, and now he's returning to the Pacific Northwest to work on material for his second stand-up comedy special.

In anticipation of Abston's return to Portland—last fall was his first tour ever!—we spoke with the comedian about his newest Pacific Northwest trip, what kind of material we can expect, and what he liked about Everything Everywhere All at Once.

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Good Morning, News: Portlanders March for Choice, Racist Shooting in New York, and White House Unveils Affordable Housing Plan

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A protester at Saturdays pro-choice march in downtown Portland.
A protester at Saturday's pro-choice march in downtown Portland. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

Good morning, Portland! Expect some sunshine today and plan for a significantly less rainy week. As a reminder, it's election week, meaning you have until Tuesday to cast your ballot—either by mail or dropbox. If you need some inspiration on who to support, take a look-see at the Mercury's own endorsements. Now, the news:

- On Saturday, hundreds of pro-choice Portlanders poured into the streets to rally against the latest SCOTUS threat against abortion rights. Photographer Mathieu Lewis-Rolland was there to capture the moment.

- A George Soros-backed political action committee has dumped $20,000 into Brian Decker’s race to unseat Washington County District Attorney incumbent Kevin Barton. Oddly enough, this is the second time a progressive candidate for the Washington County DA’s race has received last-minute support from a Soros fund. (Spoiler: It didn’t help much last time.)

- In other local election news:

- Portland held a memorial service at Pioneer Courthouse Square for former Portland mayor Bud Clark Sunday, complete with goose hats and "whoop whoop!"s. Clark died February 1 at the age of 90. The New Yorker also dedicated a few pages of ink to Clark in a May 10 obituary.

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Photo Essay: Portland Shows Up for "Bans Off Our Bodies" Pro-Choice Rally and March

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

[On Saturday, May 14, hundreds of Portlanders gathered at Chapman Square in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center for the Bans Off Our Bodies rally and march put together by the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. The peaceful gathering and march was just one of many events happening nationwide, in which thousands of people protested the potential overturning of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court of the United States, thereby putting the constitutional right to an abortion in danger. In Portland a range of speakers, including veterans, abortion providers, activists, and politicians (such as Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty) spoke to the huge, sign-carrying crowd, inspiring them for the fight that lies ahead, followed by a march through downtown. Freelance photographer Mathieu Lewis-Rolland was on the scene, and shares a few of the powerful images he captured.—eds.]

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland
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Stop the Wealthy Power Brokers from Controlling City Hall. Vote on Tuesday with the Mercury Election Cheat Sheet!


REMINDER! We've got a biiiiiig election coming up THIS TUESDAY, MAY 17—and this time around it's especially important for you to fill out that ballot! A wave of extreme conservatism is washing across the nation, as well as Oregon, and candidates are lining up to roll back the social justice progress we've made over the past few years. Even here in Portland, groups like the Portland Business Alliance, People for Portland, and the local police union are pushing hard to put (and keep) their people in power. Do you want your city to be run by wealthy real estate developers and a police department that refuses to address its own systemic racism and violent activities? Because we're very close to seeing that happen.

That's why it's CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for you to vote in this primary election—and if you need help? The Mercury is here to help you fill out that ballot fast with our ELECTION CHEAT SHEET... and if you really want to dive into our decisions? Read all of the Mercury's endorsements here!

We spent months doing the hard research and interviews necessary to make these endorsements, and it's a job we take very seriously. And we did this on top of our regular reporting duties. Since we now live in a time when advertising alone can no longer support local journalism, we need your help and support. If our Mercury endorsements and cheat sheet are helpful to you, please help us by dropping off a small monetary tip or, better yet, become a regular contributor to the Mercury. We love looking out for you and the Portlanders whose voices need to be heard. So please be a doll, and help us to keep working hard for you!

Again, this very important election is going down THIS COMING TUESDAY, MAY 17—so grab those Mercury endorsements and let's get VOTING!

YOUR SUNDAY READING LIST: The Elk Hijacked, a BIG Tuesday Election, and Some VERY Kinky Dolphins

Seth! Check out all these amazing Mercury articles, theyre really... SETH. Youre still not mad at me, are you?
"Seth! Check out all these amazing Mercury articles, they're really... SETH. You're still not mad at me, are you?" LightFieldStudios / iStock / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, SUNDAY! It's the perfect time to catch up on some of the great reporting and stories the Mercury churned out this week! (PRO TIP: If you despise being "the last to know," then be one of the first to know by signing up for Mercury newsletters! All the latest stories shipped directly to your email's in-box... and then... YOUR HEAD.)

ALERT! Ballots are Due Tuesday, and the Mercury Election Endorsements Are Here to Help!
Alert! 🚨 Primary election day in Oregon is this TUESDAY! This one is particularly important, so fill out your ballot with help from the Mercury and our Election Endorsements!


Hall Monitor: The Changing Symbolism of Portland’s Elk Statue
"It’s easy to unfurl a 'mission accomplished' banner over a statue and declare the city’s soul has been healed. It’s harder to confront the decades of trauma that a city’s police force has left on its residents for standing up for human rights."
Alex Zielinski

Oregon Court of Appeals Affirms Portland’s Denial of Zenith Operations
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in the city of Portland’s favor in the city's ongoing legal battle against Zenith Energy.
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This Week In Portland Food News: Trap Kitchen Opens in Roseland Theater, Akadi Reopens, and Kann Is Coming Soon

The celebrity favorite Trap Kitchen PDX debuts its new location inside the Roseland Theater today.
The celebrity favorite Trap Kitchen PDX debuts its new location inside the Roseland Theater today. Trap Kitchen

It may be Friday the 13th, but the Portland food scene is brimming with blessings, including the return of the celebrated West African spot Akadi, a new wings restaurant from the team behind Nacheaux, and a new location of the popular cart Trap Kitchen inside Roseland Theater. Read on for all of that and more updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


Akadi and House of Flavor
Rejoice: Portland's acclaimed West African restaurant Akadi, which has been on hiatus for over a year, reopened with an expanded menu in a new, bigger space at 1001 SE Division St. on May 8. Better yet, chef and owner Fatou Ouattara also recently launched a new grocery store called House of Flavor, with locally grown African fruits and vegetables, house spice blends, house-made sauces, and other ingredients, plus African beer and wine. The shop plays its own original videos educating visitors on how to use the ingredients.
Hosford-Abernethy, Boise
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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Good Afternoon, News: New Worries for Transplanted Safe Rest Village, Baby Formula Shortage Complications, and Student Trimet Passes for Summer

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A program coordinator at Mother & Child Education Center disposes of recalled Similac baby formula, which the company would not replace or reimburse because the donated supplies did not come with a receipt.
A program coordinator at Mother & Child Education Center disposes of recalled Similac baby formula, which the company would not replace or reimburse because the donated supplies did not come with a receipt. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Good Afternoon, Portland! I can't tell who in this video is playing the lap steel and it's freaking me OUT. Let's calm down with some news:


• One of the city's first "Safe Rest Village" locations is moving today, from an initial site on SE Water to a new spot in Southwest Portland. However a less than warm welcome to the village's LGBTQ+ residents has left the villagers to feeling hesitant about their new home. Mercury News Editor Alex Zielinski has the story.

• High school students attending Portland Public Schools receive free bus passes during the school year, but those end a few days after the final day of school. A new pilot program will provide free transit passes to an estimated 30,000 Portland-area low-income high school students. The Mercury's Isabella Garcia has the deets.

• For the past two years, Anis Mojgani has proven a creative pandemic-time poet laureate for the state of Oregon, and we approve of Gov. Brown extending his term for another two years!

• Southwest Portland's Gabriel Park, unveiled its gorgeous new playground today. The site has an in-ground trampoline that’s accessible by wheelchair, a climbing dome, multiple slides, and a rubberized surface connecting all of the play elements.

• Please read the following tweet in Julianne Moore's approximation of a Boston accent.

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63 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Weekend: May 13-15, 2022

Wish DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid a happy anniversary to their long-running dance night Tropitaal.
Wish DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid a happy anniversary to their long-running dance night Tropitaal.
Despite the ominous narrative of Friday the 13th, it’s actually your lucky day—we’ve got a packed roundup of events that won’t break the bank and will save you the stress of planning. Read on for all of the options, from Bans Off Portland with Planned Parenthood to Oregon Rises Above Hate and from Portland Art Picnic to Tropitaal 9-Year Anniversary Party.



Butter: The Comedy Show
The silliness continues! This edition of Butter, a recurring comedy show, features Seth Allen, Lee Tillman, Jamie Carbone, Jamar Pitts, and "house nonsense collective" Victor and James. Brett "Breadstick" Sisun will turn up for some groovy tunes.
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, $5)

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