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Voting in Oregon

Frequently Asked Questions about voting.

 

In 1998 Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure directing elections be conducted by mail, commonly referred to as Vote By Mail. This method of voting replaces traditional polling place elections.

What is Vote By Mail?

Vote by mail is a method of distributing ballots for an election. Instead of using traditional polling place locations where voters go to cast ballots on election day, a ballot is automatically mailed to each eligible registered voter.

The ballot is then voted, returned to the county elections office and counted on election day.

Some drop-box sites have privacy booths available for use in marking your ballot before you drop it off.

If you need to locate and use a privacy booth, call us at 503.655.8510 (or TTY/TDD 503.655.1685). top

As a voter, what do I have to do?

A ballot packet will automatically be mailed to you 18 to 14 days prior to any election in which you are eligible to participate. Your ballot packet will contain an Official Ballot (indicating the candidates and/or measures on which you are eligible to vote), a secrecy envelope and a return identification envelope.

Once you vote the ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope, seal the secrecy envelope and place the sealed secrecy envelope into the pre-addressed return envelope and seal the return identification envelope. After verifying the return envelope contains your name and current residential address, read the voter’s statement and sign on the signature line provided.

Attach sufficient first-class postage to the signed and sealed return identification envelope and mail it as soon as possible to arrive at the Clackamas County Elections Division no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election. The postmark does not count!

OR

You may deliver the signed and sealed return identification envelope to an official drop site no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day. Envelopes returned to a drop site location do not require postage. top

What if I do not receive a ballot?

If you have not received a ballot within a week after they are mailed, call us at 503.655.8510 (or TTY/TDD 503.655.1685). Your registration will be checked and if found to be current, a replacement ballot will be mailed to you. top

What if I have moved and have not updated my registration?

If you are registered to vote by the 21st day before an election, but now have a different address and:

  • You have moved to or within Clackamas County, contact us at 503.655.8510 (or TTY/TDD 503.655.1685). We will instruct you on the process to follow to qualify for a ballot.

OR

  • You have moved to a different county, contact the elections office in your new county. (Click here for a complete listing of addresses and phone numbers of election offices in Oregon.) top

What if I need assistance in voting?

Call the elections office at 503.655.8510. People with hearing impairments may call the TTY line 503.655.1685 for further instructions. top

What if I receive a ballot for someone who is no longer living at my address or for someone who is deceased?

If a ballot was delivered to your residence for someone who should no longer be receiving ballots at your address, write “RETURN” on the envelope and place it back in your mailbox. In addition, if a ballot was sent to someone who is deceased, write “DECEASED” on the envelope and place it back in your mailbox. top

Will my ballot still count if I don’t vote on all measures and/or candidates?

Yes. Your ballot will still be counted. top

What if I make a mistake?

If you make a mistake, call us at 503.655.8510 (or TTY/TDD 503.655.1685) and request a replacement ballot. One will be mailed to you provided the request is received with sufficient time for mailing. Otherwise, you may pick up a replacement ballot in person at our office at 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100, Oregon City, OR 97045. top

If I forget to place my official ballot into the secrecy envelope, will my ballot still be counted?

Yes. Your ballot will still be counted. top

What if I forget to sign my return identification envelope and have already mailed it?

If time allows, you will be mailed a notice indicating you failed to sign. If time does not allow for mailing a notice, an attempt will be made to contact you by phone. You will need to come into our office at 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100, Oregon City, OR 97045 to sign your return envelope. top

Can I change my mind after I have returned the ballot?

No. As soon as you deposit your ballot in the mailbox or at an official drop site, your ballot is considered cast. A new ballot cannot be issued on which to re-vote. top

When must my ballot be returned?

Your voted ballot must be received in any county election office or drop site by 8:00 p.m. on election night, Tuesday, May 17. Remember: The postmark does not count.

How do I know if my ballot was received?

Call our office and ask if your ballot has been received. A record is kept indicating whether or not a voter has returned a ballot. top

Can someone find out how I voted?

No. To ensure confidentiality, ballots are separated from return identification envelopes prior to the ballots being inspected. top

Can someone find out whether or not I have returned my ballot?

Yes. The information is public record. top

When are ballots counted?

All ballots are counted on election day – none are counted before. No results can be released until 8:00 p.m. on election night. County election officials may begin preparing ballots for counting no sooner than the Tuesday prior to election day. The ballots are then secured until counted on election day. top

When will election results be known?

Ballot counting cannot begin until election day. Initial results are released at 8:00 p.m. election night and will continue to be updated throughout the evening until all ballots have been counted. Visit our web site shortly after 8:00 p.m. election night for updated live election results. top

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