BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on an Oregon recall election linked to the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge (all times local):
A local official who opposed the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge has prevailed in a recall vote.
Harney County Judge Steve Grasty, the county’s top administrator, faced the recall vote after he refused to allow the armed protesters to use a county building for a meeting. Unofficial results Tuesday night showed a strong majority of voters rejecting the recall effort.
The vote underscored divisions that remain more than four months after the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, ended in February. The occupiers said they were protesting federal land use policies.
More than two dozen occupiers were arrested amid the takeover, and one was shot dead at a roadblock confrontation with law enforcement. Several have pleaded guilty in federal court in Portland to conspiracy in exchange for the dismissal of a charge of having firearms in a federal facility. Most of the remaining defendants are scheduled to go to trial in September.
Last votes are coming in for a special election being held in eastern Oregon that was the site earlier this year of an armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge by militants opposed to overreach by the federal government.
Harney County Judge Steve Grasty, the top administrator of the sparsely populated high-desert county, faces a recall vote because he refused to allow the militants to use a county building to hold a meeting. The vote underscores that divisions remain in the county more than four months after the 41-day occupation ended on Feb. 11.
By late Monday afternoon, Harney County Clerk Derrin E. “Dag” Robinson had collected 58 percent of the roughly 4,400 ballots sent out. Voters can cast ballots at drop-off boxes until 8 p.m. Tuesday, at which time the last ballots will all be collected. In Oregon, voters mail or drop off ballots.
Signs calling for voters to reject the recall effort, and a few of them supporting it, are on lawns and businesses all over Burns, the county seat.