Ten things to know about the May 2018 Primary Election:

  1. Nobody in Oregon will receive all of the candidates on their ballot. Parties in Oregon can choose to have an open or a closed primary. This year the Democratic Party and Republican Party will have closed primaries, while the Independent Party has opened their primary to nonaffiliated voters. Registered Democrats receive Democratic candidates; registered Republicans receive Republican candidates; registered Independents receive Independent candidates; nonaffiliated voters receive only those races that are nonpartisan, unless they have chosen to receive an Independent ballot; minor party voters receive only the nonpartisan candidates; and all voters will receive local measures for the jurisdictions where they reside.
  2. The order of the names on the ballot is determined by a random drawing done by the Secretary of State.
  3. The Independent Party is a major party in Oregon. It is not the same as nonaffiliated, where a voter does not choose to be affiliated with any major party.
  4. The last day to register as a new voter or to change party affiliation is April 24. If a voter changes parties after the original ballots are processed, they may receive two ballots. The first ballot is inactivated and cannot be voted when the second ballot is issued.
  5. Ballots will be mailed April 25. Remember that postmarks DO NOT count on ballots, and that voted ballots must be received in the Elections Office or in any official drop site by 8pm on Election Day.
  6. Ballots can be returned by mail or at any official drop site in Oregon or at an official drop site in Multnomah County. All ballots must be received by 8:00 PM, May 15. (Postmarks do not count.)
  7. The write-ins for the May ballot will not be tallied on Election Day. The process for write-ins will begin the day following the election and continue until complete. It is anticipated those results will be released at the time the election is certified—by June 4, 2018.
  8. Tallying Write-Ins. If there is a candidate listed on the ballot, the write-ins are only individually tallied for each write-in candidate if the total number of write-ins equals or exceeds the number of votes that the listed candidate receives.
  9. Write-In Rules. There are rules from the Secretary of State’s Office regarding counting write-ins. Misspelling or abbreviations of the names of candidates are disregarded if it can be ascertained from the ballot for whom the vote was intended. A first initial is not sufficient, but an abbreviated version of a first name is allowed.
  10. Minor party candidates are nominated by a different process over the summer. The Primary Election is the nominating election for only the three major parties as well as non-partisan candidates and measures.