Ballots for the 2018 Primary Election are now in the mail, and here are answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions from Oregonians about the election.
1. If you believe you are registered to vote but have not received your ballot by May 4, call your local elections office.
2. You can track your ballot at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.
3. Ballots are due on May 15 by 8pm. Postmarks do not count (and you only need to use one stamp).
4. Ballots can be returned by mail, at a drop box, or to your county election office. Find drop box locations at oregonvotes.gov/dropbox.
5. Every registered voter will receive a ballot for the May 15 election. Voters not affiliated with a political party, and those affiliated with a minor party (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Progressive, Working Families) will be able to vote on non-partisan contests like judges, state Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner, and local offices. Voters affiliated with the Democratic, Independent, or Republican parties will be able to vote on the above non-partisan contests as well as select the party nominee for partisan offices like US Congress, Governor, and state legislature.
6. If you registered to vote or changed your registration after April 1, you will likely receive two different ballot mailings. That is okay! It takes days to print and prepare over 2.6 million ballots, and your change may have come in after the process started. Return the second ballot which will be for your updated registration. Don’t worry, we know who was sent more than one ballot, and we’ll make sure only one is counted. If you return them both, we will only count the one for your current registration.
7. You can now register to vote when you are 16 years of age, but you will not be able to vote until you are 18.
8. The election process is open to the public. Anyone can come into their county elections office and observe the process of testing the equipment, verifying signatures, opening the ballot envelopes, counting the ballots, and witnessing a recount, if there is one. Contact your county elections office for details.
9. A security feature of vote by mail is that we compare the signature on every ballot envelope to the signature in the voter registration file. If signatures match, the ballot is counted. If the signatures doesn’t match, the ballot will not be counted and the voter will be notified.
10. Specific instructions will be provided for nonmatching signatures. The instructions must be followed to have your ballot counted.
I want to reiterate the importance of voting in every election. Thank you in advance for fulfilling this important civic duty.