Alright Oregonians, lets talk about voting. Your vote-by-mail ballot hasn’t been mailed yet.
In an unprecedented election year where people across the country are filling out absentee ballots and vote-by-mail for the first time, the process can get kind of confusing for those of us who already participate in a vote-by-mail system.
Seeing shared voting deadlines on social media and receiving partially inaccurate voting information from a USPS postcard are causing people further stress about how voting works in this state.
So here are some key deadlines from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office and some information to make sure your vote counts:
- Voters pamphlets will arrive from Oct. 7-9, which will give voters a sense on who’s running all the way from presidential candidates to local candidates.
- The last day to register is Oct. 13. This means that if its your first time voting, register by that date. If you have moved and want to update your address, this deadline also applies. Ballots are sent automatically to registered Oregon voters (despite what the USPS postcard says).
- Ballots are mailed Oct. 14. Shortly after, people will begin to receive their ballots in the mail. Remember that ballots cannot be forwarded, so if you are a student or are temporarily living in Lane County for any other reason, you must have your ballot sent directly to you. If you will be away from home during the election, fill out an absentee ballot.
- Your ballots can be dropped off at various locations around Lane County. You can find your local dropbox on the Oregon Secretary of State website, which will be updating the list of boxes no later than Oct. 15. If you are dropping off your ballot, they must be received by election officials by 8 pm on Nov. 3. Officials recommend turning in your ballots sooner though.
- Mailing in your ballots is also an option. The last day to mail in ballots is Oct. 27, which will give the USPS enough time to get the ballots to election officials. Let’s be honest, if you can, it’s probably a better idea to drop if off this year.
- If you were affected by wildfires in Lane County and are temporarily displaced, check out this previous Eugene Weekly article on how you can get your ballot as an evacuees.
- Last, remember to sign your ballots. No matter where you live or vote, if your ballot is not signed, it will not be counted. We’ve been doing mail-in-voting here in Oregon since 1998, so let’s show the rest of the country how simple and efficient it is.
For questions on voting locally, call the Lane County Elections office from 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm Monday through Friday at 541-682-4234. You can also visit LaneCounty.Gov/Elections or Sos.Oregon.Gov/Voting-Elections for more information on voting statewide and to update your registration.