Oregon Elections

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Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, May 17

  • Voter Registration Deadline: April 26

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 18

For more information, visit the Oregon Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Election Commission Advisory Board Disagrees With Director Over Proof-of-Citizenship Rule
05/06/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 17:45
Excerpt: 

It looks like more bad news for the new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Brian Newby is already being sued by the League of Women Voters for his decision earlier this year to allow Kansas and two other states to require residents to show proof of citizenship when they register to vote using a federal form. The move effectively reversed a long-standing EAC policy.

Now, the EAC's advisory board — composed of election officials from around the country — has approved a resolution saying that such changes should be made by the commissioners themselves. The resolution, passed by a 13-7 vote during a two-day board meeting in Chicago, is only advisory, but clearly shows dissatisfaction with Newby's actions. ...

Republicans, who generally back proof-of-citizenship laws, are watching the legal wrangling closely. If [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach wins, there will likely be more legislation requiring voters to show such proof when they go to register.

Lawmakers In Missouri Just Passed A Voter ID Bill That Could Disenfranchise 220,000 People
05/05/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 15:30
Excerpt: 

The deal involves amendments to the bill that progressive lawmakers say will “ensure no voter is denied his or her Constitutional right to vote.” For instance, the state would be required to provide free photo IDs and any underlying documents necessary to obtain them, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards. Additionally, voters who are unable to get the required ID for whatever reason would be able to sign a legally-binding affidavit promising they are who they say they are, and could then vote with regular ballots.  ...

“Many voters simply give up in anger and frustration” when navigating a complex bureaucracy, [UC irvine professor Rick Hasen] explained. “Many voters don’t even know what an ‘impediment’ is, let alone how to take advantage of the exemption.” He characterized safety net provisions like the affidavit as “nothing more than weak attempts to deal with the original harshness of voter-ID laws.”

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office estimated in 2014 that about 220,000 registered voters lack the proper ID and could be disenfranchised by a voter ID law. Many more who are not registered could be impacted as well. The implementation of the law would cost as much as $17 million over three years, and the compromise bill stipulates that if the legislature doesn’t appropriate enough funds to help people get IDs, the law wouldn’t be enforced. 

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

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Oregon Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, May 17

  • Voter Registration Deadline: April 26

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 18

For more information, visit the Oregon Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Oregon is a Vote by Mail state.  Therefore, if you are a registered voter, a ballot will automatically be mailed to you for each election that you are eligible to vote in.  Each County Elections Office also has voting booths.  The booths accommodate any voters who would prefer to vote at a polling place, as well as voters with special needs.

On Election Day, each County Clerk's Office is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to cast a ballot in person.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Oregon has a vote by mail process.  Instead of using traditional polling places where voters go to cast ballots on Election Day, a ballot is mailed to each registered voter.  Each County Elections Office also has voting booths.  The booths accommodate any voters who would prefer to vote at a polling place, as well as voters with special needs.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadline

You must register 21 days before the election.

How to Check Registration

Check your registration online.

Contact your county elections office.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Identification Required for Registration

Online registration requires a current Oregon driver’s license or state ID card issued by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  Mail in or in person registration can be completed with either of these items or by using the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have any of these items, you must affirm this on the voter registration form and provide a copy of one of the following with your voter registration form:

  • Valid photo identification;
  • A paycheck stub;
  • A utility bill;
  •  A bank statement;
  • A government document; or
  • Proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) or the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEH).

If you are unable because of a disability to sign the voter registration card, you may use a signature stamp or other indicator of your signature, but you will need to complete a state form to attest that you are using a signature stamp or other indicator of your signature because of a disability.  You will be required to make this attestation each time you register to vote or update a registration.

Registration Eligability

In order to vote, Oregon law requires the voter to be registered at least 21 days prior to the election. 

To be eligible to register to vote in Oregon you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be a resident of Oregon; and
  • be at least 17 years old.

17 year olds will not receive a ballot until an election occurs on or after their 18th birthday.  If you are going to receive your citizenship on or before an election, you must submit a voter registration card by the 21-day voter registration deadline.  After you take your oath, you must appear and provide evidence of citizenship to the elections office in the county where you live, on or before Election Day.

Voting When Homeless 

Homeless residents of Oregon are able to vote.  The voter must provide their current address of residence on the voter registration form.  Residence is considered to be the place where the voter sleeps.  This could include a shelter, a friend's home or other identifiable location.  The mailing address of a person who is homeless or who resides where mail service is unavailable can be the office of the county clerk.  The voter can also pick up a ballot in person at the county elections office.

Voting when the Voter is Concerned for their Personal Safety 

Some people may choose not to register to vote because they don't feel safe disclosing their home address.  Under certain circumstances, a voter can register and vote while maintaining their privacy.  To maintain privacy, complete this exemption form and return it to the county elections office, or ask a county elections official for more information about this option.

How to Register

Online

Individuals can register to vote online in Oregon.  In order to register online, you must have a current Oregon driver’s license or state ID card issued by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In-Person or by Mail

You may also register to vote in person at your county elections office.  You can locate your county elections office here

You may also register to vote by completing the voter registration portion of the application for issuance or renewal of a driver license, issuance of a state identification card or when making a change of address at an office of the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

You may also register to vote at the following agencies which have been designated as voter registration agencies pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act if you are applying for assistance, renewing or seeking recertification of assistance or are notifying agencies from which you receive assistance of a change of address by using the agencies’ change of address form:

  • Armed Forces recruitment offices operated by the U.S. Department of Defense;
  • Commission for the Blind;
  • Children, Adults and Families Division;
  • Addictions and Mental Health Division;
  • Office of Family Health Services WIC;
  • Seniors and People with Disabilities Division;
  • Office of Vocational Rehab Services; and
  • Oregon Department of Transportation.

Voter registration forms can also be mailed in to your county elections office.  The form can be downloaded from the Oregon Secretary of State website and is available in English and Spanish.  Applicants can mail or drop off completed voter registration forms to their county elections office.  Contact information for county elections offices can be found here.

If You Want to Vote Early

Since Oregon has a “Vote by Mail” law that permits all voters to cast their ballots prior to Election Day, Oregon does not have a separate “Early Voting” law.  Registered voters in Oregon are mailed a ballot two to three weeks before an election.  Voters also receive a security envelope in which to return their completed ballot.  The envelope can be stamped and mailed (in which case the voter pays for the postage), dropped off at any official drop box across the state or taken to your county elections office.

If a voter casts his or her ballot after the Friday before an election, the ballot should be left at a designated drop site or taken to your county elections office to ensure it is counted.  

You also have the option to mark your ballot in person at the County elections office.  For further information about the days and hours when you can mark and cast your ballot in person, please contact your county elections office.  Click here to find an official designated drop site location where you can deposit your ballot.

Ballots must be received by your county elections office by no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.  You can track the status of your ballot by clicking here or you may call your county elections office to ask if they received your ballot.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Non-military absentee voters

If you are registered to vote in Oregon and will be temporarily away from the home address where you are currently registered to vote for an upcoming election (such as while attending college away from home, traveling, vacationing, temporarily living in another state or otherwise temporarily absent from the state), you may submit an Absentee Ballot Request Form to your County elections office to obtain an absentee ballot.  The Absentee Ballot Request Form can be found here.  Absentee ballots sent to addresses out of state, are mailed no sooner than the 29th day before Election Day. 

Please note that different rules apply to absent overseas and military voters, and their spouses and dependents who are temporarily residing outside of the United States.  The absentee ballot information pertaining to these voters is described more fully below in the section entitled, “Overseas and Military Voters.”

Online registration requires a current Oregon driver’s license or state ID card.  Mail in or in person registration requires a current Oregon driver’s license, state ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the last four digits of your Social Security number.  If you do not have any of these items, you must affirm this on the voter registration form and provide a copy of one of the following with your voter registration form:

  • Valid photo identification;
  • A paycheck stub;
  • A utility bill;
  •  A bank statement;
  • A government document; or
  • Proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) or the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEH).

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Oregon has a vote by mail process.  Instead of using traditional polling places where voters go to cast ballots on Election Day, a ballot is mailed to each registered voter at the address where they are registered to vote.

The ballot is then voted and returned to the county elections office or designated drop site to be counted.  In Oregon, ballots will be mailed any time between 2 and 3 weeks before the election.  After it is voted, the ballot may be mailed or hand-delivered to the county election office or designated drop site.  In order to be counted, the ballot must be received by the county elections office or designated drop site no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day.  Postmarks do not count.  If you are a registered voter, your ballot will be automatically sent to you.  You can call 1-866-ORE-VOTES, visit the Secretary of State's Website, or contact your county elections office to make sure your ballot was received.  You will need to sign the return envelope of your ballot.  Your signature will be matched with your voter registration card to verify your identity.  If you are not comfortable voting your ballot at home, there are privacy booths available at your county elections office where you can mark your ballot and deliver the voted ballot in person at your county elections office.  Please contact your county elections office to obtain dates, times and for more information about marking and casting your ballot in person at the county elections office. 

You will need to update your voter registration when:

  • You move;
  • You change your name; and/or
  • You change your political party choice for primary elections.

If you have an Oregon driver’s license or state ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can update your voter registration information, including address and/or political party affiliation, online here.

A name change, however, needs to be updated by completing a new paper registration form that can be found here.  All voters can complete a new paper registration form to update their registration information.  The completed form must be submitted to any county elections office.

You can update your voter registration information, except to change your party for a Primary Election, until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and still be able to cast a ballot.  However, if the registration is updated too close to an election, your ballot might have to be issued at the county elections office.

Overseas and Military Voters under Oregon law are those persons who are:

  • Serving in the Armed Forces of the United States or have been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States for not more than 30 days;
  • Serving in the Merchant Marine of the United States or have been discharged from the Merchant Marine of the United States for not more than 30 days; or
  • Temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Eligible voters with an Oregon driver’s license or state ID can register to vote online.  Eligible Overseas and Military Voters must register to vote at least 21 days prior to an election to be able to vote in that election.

Ballots will be mailed to military and overseas voters that are registered at least 45 days before the Election Day.  These ballots can be returned by mail, fax, or email by 8 p.m. on Election Day.  Postmarks do not count.

Military and overseas voters can also use the Secretary of State website to register and update registration, track ballot status, and find information about state ballot measures and candidates.  For more information visit the Secretary of State website here.

Without an Oregon driver’s license or state ID, Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Oregon-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Oregon-specific page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 8:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Oregon-specific FWAB page.

In Oregon, a person who has had a felony conviction is eligible to vote as long as they are not in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections or in a federal correctional facility at that time.  Inmates in Oregon state correctional facilities may register to vote.  However, inmates in an Oregon federal correctional facility may neither register nor vote under Oregon law.

All others in the criminal justice system may register and vote (such as pre-trial detainees, persons serving misdemeanor sentences in county jails, and persons on parole or probation).

For more information, visit the Oregon Secretary of State website or click here to read a summary of the Oregon State Election Code.

**The materials below have not been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Oregon Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state