PORTLAND-- All three candidates for Portland mayor are focusing on reaching undecided voters over the weekend.

During the primary election two years ago, only 35 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Multnomah County. Election officials hope this year's mayoral race will increase those turnout numbers.

The flow of ballots being dropped off was starting to pick up outside the Multnomah County elections building Friday, and inside a new high-speed ballot sorting machine was already fired up.

It really saves us time on the ballot sorting, which we used to do manually, said Tim Scott, Multnomah County Director of Elections.

As of Friday afternoon ballots had been received from 17 percent of registered voters. That number will make a tremendous jump by the time the Tuesday deadline arrives.

More: Eileen BradyCharlie HalesJefferson Smith

The daily turnout numbers have been tracking very closely with the primary two years ago, Scott said.

Portland's three candidates for mayor hope their campaigns can dramatically improve that turnout.

I've talked to people who still have their ballots sitting on their kitchen counter, said candidate Eileen Brady.

We've knocked on about 35,000 doors so far, so we are out there, candidate Charlie Hales said.

Jefferson Smith's campaign was planning it's biggest canvass yet for Saturday.

We had to get more famous than a grocery store and someone who had been elected citywide, and I think we are at the tipping point and have done that, said Amanda Caffall, with the Smith Campaign.

A poll this week commissioned by KGW and the Oregonian showed former City Commissioner Charlie Hales leading the race with 29 percent, followed by Oregon State Representative Jefferson Smith at 28 percent and New Seasons Market founder Eileen Brady trailing with 16 percent.

Background: Mayor's race tight, KGW/Oregonian poll shows

It's a dead heat, Brady said Friday, It's very close and could come down to hundreds of votes. And every vote matters.

Election officials expect more than 50 percent of the total ballots to arrive at the elections building between Friday and Tuesday.

Friday was the last day to mail your ballots and guarantee they would be counted. Starting Saturday ballots must be put in drop boxes. Polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Related: Election ballot drop box sites

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