(Salem, OR) -- At least 40-percent of Oregon's registered voters' ballots are now in the hands of election officials. That's about eight-percent higher than had been expected to turn in their early voting ballots by mail or in person. The Oregonian reports that Democrats held a slight edge yesterday in turnout rates. The large participation echoes a nationwide surge in at least 28 states. Bloomberg News reports the high turnout indicates new voters are being drawn into the midterm elections.