Have questions about the 2022 Oregon primary election? Here are some answers
Primary election day is May 17, and ballots will be mailed out this week. But there are few changes this year.
The Statesman Journal has compiled the answers to a number of frequently asked question about voting in the state.
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Can I still register to vote or change my voter registration?
Yes, voters in Oregon have until April 26 to register to vote or change their registration in time for that to be reflected in the primary.
Nonaffiliated voters in Oregon are not allowed to vote in Republican or Democratic primaries — including the races for governor, U.S. Congress at the state Legislature — but will be able to vote in many nonpartisan races. These races include the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, judgeships, district attorneys, city councilors and mayors. Nonaffiliated voters will also be able to vote on various ballot measures.
If a nonaffiliated voter wants to vote in a closed primary for a particular party, they must change their registration to that party.
Information about the process for registering to vote can be found on the Oregon Secretary of State website at sos.oregon.gov/voting. There you can register to vote online or find a voter registration form that can be downloaded and mailed in. You can also call the office at 503-986-1518.
When will ballots arrive?
Oregon is an exclusively vote-by-mail state, meaning there are no polling places for voters to visit on or before election day. All ballots are mailed to registered voters, whether in the state or living abroad.
Ballots will be mailed starting April 27 and all ballots must be sent by end of day on May 3. Ballots should arrive to all Oregon homes within the next week. If your ballot has not arrived by then, contact your local county elections office.
When are ballots due?
Primary election day this year is May 17.
In the past, ballots needed to have arrived at county elections offices by 8 p.m. on election day to be counted. However, this year, ballots simply need to be postmarked by election day and then can be received up to seven days after election day to be considered valid.
This change is due to a law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2021.
Proponents of the change say it will allow for more Oregonians to have their votes counted.
How do I submit my ballot?
Ballots can be mailed to county elections offices no later than May 17, or they can be deposited in dropboxes. Dropbox locations can be found on the Oregon Secretary of State website.
Since 2020, ballots can be mailed without paid postage.
When will we know the election results?
Results will begin to be released shortly after 8 p.m. May 17. But elections officials caution that vote counts will likely rise more after election day than in past years due to valid ballots arriving at counting locations up to seven days after the election.
Since this is the first year with the new deadline, it is unclear how many votes will arrive after election day.
Some races could remain too close to call until the final ballots are counted in the days after election day.