You need a ballot. That’s the only way to vote in the upcoming election.
Lane County ballots were mailed on Oct. 14 through the US Postal Service. For those living in Lane County, there were expected to arrive by Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the latest.
But if your ballot is not in your mailbox — don’t panic.
First, you can track your ballot. Just visit the Oregon Secretary of State Website and click on “My Vote”. Enter your name and birthday, and it will tell you if your ballot has been delivered and to what address. If you have already submitted your ballot — either by official drop boxes or mail — the website will also tell you if your ballot has been received.
If you have moved, even next door, update your registration, then contact the Lane County Elections office. Ballots cannot be forwarded.
There was an incident of ballots being stolen from residents on Hansen Lane in the River Road area. Cheryl Betschart, a clerk Lane County Elections, says there are five address on that street that were impacted. In this case, all mail was stolen and ballots happened to be included. It is unknown whether the theft targeted the ballots specifically.
Betschart says if a voter believes they were impacted, the first action is to report it to law enforcement. Then, they can request a replacement ballot from the Lane County Elections office.
If your ballot has been delivered but it is not in your mailbox, contact law enforcement if you think it may be stolen and either way, contact the county and request a replacement ballot right away. Once you receive your replacement ballot, you can mail it in, or put it in a ballot box.
Chuck Hunt is a resident of Hansen Lane, and says that he and other neighbors had received their ballots late Saturday night. He says sometime between the mail being delivered and the morning of Sunday, Oct. 18, his ballots and the mail was missing. Since reporting the incident, Hunt has received a new ballot and has successfully voted.
“I called Lane Elections on Monday and told them my ballot was missing. And they made an 2 o’clock appointment to come get a replacement ballot and I did,” he says. Hunt adds that he asked if there is a chance the missing ballot cannot be used. The barcode on the back of the envelope keeps track electronically, voiding the validity of his first ballot, should it be turned in by someone else.
“That was really important to me because I wanted to make sure there was no possibility of fraud or double counting or anything like that,” Hunt says.
If you have any other concerns with your ballot and making sure its counted, contact the Lane County Elections office at 541-682-4234. Visit their webpage on ballot security for more information on how your ballot is kept safe.