Voting in Oregon FAQ

In 1998 Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure directing elections be conducted by mail, commonly called vote by mail. This replaces traditional polling place elections.

As a voter, what do I have to do?

Your ballot packet will automatically be mailed to you 18 to 14 days prior to the election. Each packet contains a secrecy envelope, ballot return envelope and ballot. Once you vote the ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope and seal it in the pre-addressed return envelope. Be sure to sign the return envelope on the appropriate line after verifying that the return envelope has your name and current residential address.

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Can anyone find out how I've voted once I mail my ballot?

No. All ballots are separated from the return envelope before the ballots are inspected. This process ensures confidentiality.

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Can I change my mind after I've returned the ballot?

Your ballot has been cast as soon as you deposit it in the mailbox or at a drop site. After that, you cannot receive a new ballot to re-vote.

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Do I have to return my ballot by mail?

You have the choice of mailing your ballot or returning it to any county election office or any designated drop site in the state. The times and locations of drop sites are provided in each ballot packet. The drop sites are also listed on this web site. The sites listed on this web site are for countywide elections and may vary for smaller elections.

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How do I know if my ballot was received?

You can always call your county election office and ask if they received your ballot. A record is kept showing each voter whose ballot has been returned.

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How much postage is required to mail the ballot back?

Your voted ballot can be returned without extra postage. In those instances where additional postage is necessary, it will be clearly indicated on the ballot materials.

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What if I have more questions?

Call your Lincoln County Clerk at 541-265-4131 and staff will assist you.

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What if I have moved and have not updated my registration?

If you are registered to vote by the 21st day before the election, but now have a different address and:

  • You have moved within the same county, contact your local county election office. They will instruct you on the process to follow to qualify for a replacement ballot;

OR

  • You have moved to a different county, contact the election office in your new county.
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What if I make a mistake?

If you make a mistake, 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.

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What if my ballot doesn't come?

If you have not received your ballot within a week after they are mailed, call your county election office. Staff will check that your voter registration is current. If it is, they will mail you a replacement ballot.

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What is vote by mail?

Vote by mail is a method of distributing ballots for an election. Instead of using traditional polling places where voters go to cast ballots on election day, a ballot is automatically mailed to each registered voter. The ballot is then voted and returned to the county election office to be counted.

Every county provides privacy booths where you can mark your ballot. Usually, you can drop off your completed ballot at the same location. Call your county election office if you need to locate and use a privacy booth.

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When are ballots counted?

No results can be announced until 8:00 p.m. on election night. No more than seven days before election day, county election officials may begin preparing the ballots for counting by opening the return identification envelopes and the secrecy envelopes. The ballots may be run through the ballot scanner, however, no tabulation is done until election day.

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When must the voted ballot be returned?

The voted ballot must be received in any county election office or designated drop site by 8:00 p.m. on election night. Postmarks do not count.

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When will election results be known?

Initial results are released at 8:00 p.m. election night and will continue to be updated through election night until all ballots have been counted.

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Will my vote count if I forget to put my ballot into the secrecy envelope?

Yes, the ballot will still be counted.

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Will my vote still count if I do not vote on all the contests and/or measures on the ballot?

Yes, the ballot will still be counted.

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