The following are commonly asked questions about voting in Oregon.
What is Vote By Mail?
In 1998 voters passed a ballot measure directing all elections to be conducted by mail, commonly called Vote By Mail. Instead of using traditional polling places where voters go to cast ballots on Election Day, a ballot is mailed to each registered voter. The ballot is then returned to the county elections office and is counted on Election Day.
With Vote By Mail, how do I vote?
You must be registered to vote to receive a ballot. A ballot is automatically sent to all registered voters who are eligible to vote in the election. Once you vote your ballot, just place it in the ballot return envelope and seal it. Make sure to sign the ballot return envelope. Then return the ballot return envelope and mail it back (no postage needed), or use one of Oregon's Official Ballot Drop Sites (an updated list of Official Ballot Drop Sites is available 20 days before each statewide election). Multnomah County Official Ballot Drop Box Sites are listed at multco.us/dropsites. Remember to mail your ballot back on or before Election Day or return to an Official Ballot Drop Site by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots mailed back must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
What if my ballot doesn't come?
If your ballot does not arrive within 5 days after they have been mailed out to voters, please call your county elections office. After checking your voter registration status the county elections office will send you a replacement ballot.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
If you make a mistake, clearly erase the incorrect mark then mark the correct oval. If you make a mistake that cannot be corrected, you may call your county election office 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 your county election office.
Will my vote still count if I don't vote on all measures and/or candidates?
Yes, the ballot will still be counted.
Can I change my mind after I've returned the ballot?
No. Your ballot has been cast as soon as you deposit it in the mailbox or at an Official Ballot Drop Site. After that, you cannot receive a new ballot to re-vote.
Do I have to return my ballot by mail?
No. You have the choice of mailing your ballot or returning it to any county election office or any Official Ballot Drop Site. The location of each Official Ballot Drop Site in Multnomah County is listed in the Voters' Pamphlet and on our website.
How do I know if my ballot was received?
You can sign up for Track Your Ballot to know where your ballot is in the voting process and know that it was received by Multnomah County Elections. You can also check MyVote at the Oregon Secretary of State's Office to see the status of your ballot. In addition you can call your county election office and ask about the status of your voted ballot. They can tell you if your ballot has been received and if the signature has been verified.
Can someone find out how I've voted?
No. All ballots are separated from the ballot return envelope before the ballots are inspected. This process ensures confidentiality.
Can someone find out whether I've returned my ballot?
Yes. That information is public record.
When will election results be known?
Initial results are released at 8 p.m. on election night and will continue to be updated through election night until all ballots have been counted.
What if I have more questions?
Call Multnomah County Elections, 503-988-8683 or leave a comment, and our Elections staff will be glad to assist you.