Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins has some helpful advice for anyone who wants to be sure their vote will count.
“We recommend that everyone have a plan,” she said. “That way, no voter is going to be disappointed.”
For starters, she said, don’t wait until the last minute. Although Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, the recent closure of a number of U.S. Postal Service collection and delivery sites means ballots may take longer than expected to arrive once they are mailed.
That’s especially true, she said, if ballots are dropped into mailboxes in areas relatively far from Portland.
“There’s always a debate bout what to tell voters about deadlines,” Atkins said. “It’s 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, but it has to be either at the county clerk’s office or in a ballot drop box by that time. So we really recommend that voters get their ballots to one of those locations if it’s a last-minute situation.”
One ‘don’t’ is thinking your ballot is worthless if your make a mistake with the one originally mailed to your residence, she said. Simply take the smudged or mistakenly marked ballot to a clerk’s office and ask for a replacement.
“They’ll simply match the signature with the one they have on file for that voter and provide a new ballot,” Atkins said. “It’s a very simple procedure.”