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Registering to Vote

Frequently Asked Questions about registering to vote.

Who may register to vote?

Anyone who is:

  • A resident of Oregon;
  • A United States citizen; and
  • 17 years of age or older, although a ballot will not be issued until an election occurs on or after their 18th birthday. top

Who needs to update their registration?

  • Anyone who has moved or changed their mailing address, even if it is just a change of apartment number at the same address.
  • Anyone who changes their name, for instance, when getting married.
  • Anyone wishing to change party affiliation. (See Primary Election, below) top

How may I register?

  • By mail-in registration form; or
  • In person at any county elections office or at a designated state agency, including the Department of Motor Vehicles and some public assistance agencies. top

When may I register and what is the registration deadline?

You may register at any time. However, your voter registration form must be received or postmarked no later than the 21st day before the election at which you intend to vote. top

Where can I find voter registration forms?

Post offices, public libraries, city halls, schools, DMV offices, and Clackamas County Elections, now located at 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100, in Oregon City. Also, you can download and print a form in PDF format from the Secretary of State's web site at the Oregon Voter Registration link, which can be found at www.oregonvotes.org. (Make sure your printer is set up for “landscape” printing!)

What information is required?

In October 2002, the "Help America Vote Act" was signed into law. The Act changes voter registration requirements nationwide for voting in federal elections. If you are registering to vote in Oregon for the first time, you must provide an Oregon Driver’s License / ID. If you do not have a valid ODL / ID, the last four digits of your Social Security number must be provided.

If you do not have a valid Oregon Driver’s License / ID or a Social Security number, you must affirm this by marking the appropriate box on the registration form. If you are registering by mail, you must provide a copy of one of the following: a valid photo identification, a copy of a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement or other government document showing the registrant's name and address.

If sufficient documentation is not provided at the time of registration, it will be requested by elections officials in order for the person to vote at the next federal election. When filling out the registration card, you must furnish your full name, residence address (and mailing address, if different), ODL or Oregon ID, date of birth, political party preference, and signature. Your residence address must be the physical address where you reside - not a post office box. top

What if I turn 18 after the registration deadline?

If you will turn 18 years of age during the 20-day period immediately before an election, you must register by the 21st day prior to the election. top

What if I become a citizen after the registration deadline?

If you plan on becoming a United States citizen after the registration deadline, you still must register by the registration deadline. Please contact our office at 503.655.8510 for additional information. top

Do I have to re-register for each election?

No. You only need to update your registration when your residence (even moving to a different apartment within a complex) or mailing address changes; your name changes; or you wish to change your political party affiliation. top

Do I have to register by party?

No. If you do not wish to be affiliated with a political party, you may check the box that states “Not a Member of a Party.” You may not designate or change a party affiliation after the 21st day before a primary election. top

What is a primary election?

  • Major political parties (Democrat and Republican) nominate their candidates at a primary election, held on the third Tuesday in May of even-numbered years. Only voters registered as members of either political party may vote for that party’s candidates at a primary election unless a party opens its primary to voters who have registered as “Not a Member of a Party”. In this instance, non-affiliated voters must request a major party ballot from the elections office.
  • Nonpartisan offices (i.e. certain county offices, judges, district attorney, etc.) also appear on the primary election ballot. Any registered voter, regardless of political party affiliation, may vote on the candidates for these offices. top

May I transfer my registration from another state?

No. You must register in Oregon. top

How do I know if I am properly registered?

You may call our office at 503.655.8510. top

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