NEWS RELEASE: Multnomah County voters cast tens of thousands of ballots, amid surge of returns on Election Night; secure, convenient and reliable elections remain pillars of the Vote by Mail process

May 22, 2024

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Teams of bipartisan volunteers at Multnomah County Elections sort ballots before they are counted Tuesday, May 21, 2024.
Multnomah County, Ore. (May 22, 2024) — As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, official Multnomah County voter turnout reached 29.8%, with just over 170,000 ballots logged and accepted in the Tuesday, May 21, 2024, primary election — a percentage that will climb as additional ballots are logged, verified and counted.

Roughly 70,000 ballots were received on Election Day alone, with roughly half of that number picked up from ballot drop sites after 6 p.m. 

This is also the second major election cycle in Multnomah County and statewide, alongside 2022, in which ballots postmarked on or before Election Day will also be counted.

While many voters continue to use Official Ballot Drop Sites, a state law passed in 2021 provides more flexibility to voters who need to mail their ballots on Election Day, provided that those ballots are postmarked on Election Day and arrive at a county elections office within seven days.

On Wednesday, May 22, the Elections Division received an additional 23,600 ballots from the U.S. Postal Service postmarked before or on May 21 — significantly exceeding the previous record of roughly 13,000 ballots. More ballots will arrive over the next week.

Because of the postmark law, the number of days allotted to county elections offices to certify elections has increased to 27 days, up from 20. That means results from this election will have a June 17 certification deadline.

Mailed ballots, cast on time on or before Election Day, can still arrive up to seven days after Election Day. And as additional ballots come in, the reality is that some close contests may not be decided as quickly as in previous years.

The results schedule for this election can be viewed online here.

The Elections Division can employ up to 200 on-call election workers who join permanent staff to help conduct elections.

Each sworn election worker serves a valuable role in ensuring accurate, accessible and secure elections for Multnomah County voters. Election workers’ roles include collecting ballots at drop sites, running ballots through high-speed sorters, opening ballot envelopes, providing direct voter services in Portland and Gresham, answering thousands of phone calls, and countless other duties in between. We thank them for their service.

Vote by Mail’s pillars – accurate, secure, convenient elections – remain steadfast 

For over two decades, Vote by Mail has been reliable, convenient and secure — before, during and after each election. And a suite of security procedures and processes remains in place to keep it so.  

Unique identifiers are on every ballot return envelope, and only one ballot for each voter can be counted. 

The paper ballot system offers:

  • Inherent security that is bolstered by ballot-counting systems that are never connected to the Internet. 
  • A paper trail from the casting and counting of ballots to election certification. 
  • A Track Your Ballot service that voters can use to watch their ballot move through the acceptance process. Almost 26% of eligible voters have signed up for this service. Track Your Ballot is available in multiple languages. Voters can sign up before the next election at

Finally, after every election, the system is audited by hand, using randomly selected batches and contests. Machine vote counts are compared to hand vote counts. This step also includes opportunities to observe these processes unfold and to ensure transparency and confidence in the election results. 

Watch more on the Election Process here

Local Elections Count!

Local elections are important and count tremendously in the decision- making that shapes the future of our communities. Thank you to the thousands of voters in Multnomah County who participated and made sure their voices were heard.

Final Official Election Results available by June 17, 2024

Final official election results will be certified and submitted to special districts by June 17, 2024. The next scheduled election in Multnomah County is the Nov. 5, 2024, general election.

The Nov. 5 election is also when all candidate contests for City of Portland elected offices will appear, because of charter changes approved in 2022. 

Those candidate contests will also mark the City's first use of ranked choice voting. To learn more about ranked choice voting in upcoming City of Portland elections, visit

Main office:

Multnomah County Duniway-Lovejoy Elections Building

1040 S.E. Morrison St., Portland. OR 97214

Gresham location:

Closed until October 2024 for the next election!

Voting Center Express at the Multnomah County East Building

600 N.E. 8th St., Gresham, OR 97030

Phone: 503-988-VOTE (8683)