Questions About Voting In Oregon Elections

Voting in Oregon

Over these past 20 years, Oregon voters have mailed in their ballots for all elections. There is no standing in lines to vote. The system has meant more and easier access to the ballot, higher voter turnout, and improved election security. Oregon is the first state in the nation to have a vote-by-mail system. The Office of the Oregon Secretary has published a great State Voters’ Pamphlet that describes the whole voting process. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.

How do I vote in Oregon?

In Oregon, we vote by mail. Your county elections office will automatically mail you a ballot packet for every election that you are eligible to vote in. Inside the packet, you will find the ballot and instructions on how to complete and return the ballot. Follow the instructions! For this election, your ballot packet will automatically be mailed to you between October 17 and October 23, 2018.

Do I need to update my address if I have moved?

Ballots are not forwardable. If you were registered to vote by October 16 but now have a different address, call your county elections office for instructions on how to update your registration and receive a ballot. In Lane County, the County Clerks Office is responsible for all elections.

Can I vote in person at a polling place?

There are no polling places in Oregon. Instead you can complete your ballot anywhere you choose. If you are uncomfortable voting your ballot at home or elsewhere, there are privacy booths available at your county elections office. Call your county elections office for further information.

What if my ballot doesn’t come?

As a registered voter, you can check the status of your ballot at www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote. For this election, if you have not received your ballot packet by October 26, call your county elections office.

How do I return my ballot?

You can return your ballot by mail or return it to any county elections office or an official drop box. You can find the nearest drop box, along with a map of how to get there, at www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote or by
contacting your county elections office.

Remember! If returning your ballot by mail, you must attach a single “Forever” first-class stamp to your ballot return envelope before mailing it back.

When do I have to return my ballot by?

Your voted ballot must be received in any county elections office or official drop box by 8 pm, Tuesday, November 6. Postmarks do not count! All county elections offices are open election day from 7 am to 8 pm.

How do I know if my voted ballot has been received?

You can track the status of your ballot online at www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote.

Will my vote count if I forget to return my ballot in the secrecy envelope or sleeve?

The county elections office will maintain the privacy of your ballot if you forget the optional secrecy envelope
or sleeve and your ballot will still count.

Is voting really kept secret?

Yes, how you voted is secret, but whether or not you returned your ballot is public record. To ensure your
vote remains a secret, your ballot is separated from the return identification envelope before it is reviewed.
County elections officials only review and count your ballot after verifying your signature.

What if I forget to sign the return envelope?

Contact your county elections office as soon as possible. If they find an unsigned ballot, they will contact you.

Can the public watch the election process?

Yes! You can watch all steps of the process. Contact your county elections official to make arrangements.

When will election results be known?

Initial results are released at 8 pm election night and will continue to be updated through election night. Final certified results will be available 30 days after the election.

Replacement Ballot Information

Important! If your ballot is lost, destroyed, damaged or you make a mistake in marking your ballot, you may
call your county elections office and request a replacement ballot.

Provisional Ballot Information

You will be issued a provisional ballot if:

  1. there is a question about your eligibility as a voter (for example, there is no evidence on
    file that you are an active or inactive voter in Oregon); or
  2. you need to vote at a county elections office in a county other than the one you live in.

In order to obtain a provisional ballot, you need to fill out a Provisional Ballot Request Form in person at the
county elections office.
Your provisional ballot will not be counted until it is determined that you are eligible to vote.

After you have voted the ballot, you can call 1-866-673-8683 or the county elections office in which
you voted to find out if your ballot was counted. If your ballot was not counted, you can also find out the
reason it was not counted.