Election day is May 19. In case you’re unfamiliar with the process, Deschutes County is offering instructions from voting by mail:
- Marking your ballot: Fill in the ovals to the left of the candidates or questions you wish to vote on, with a black or blue pen. You don’t have to vote on all contests, those you DO vote on will be counted.
- The optional Secrecy Envelope: Did you receive the Secrecy Envelope in your ballot package and you’re not sure what to do with it? The first thing you should know is that you’re not required to use the Secrecy Envelope, it is optional. It’s provided for you to enclose your ballot before placing it into the envelope that you sign. It’s provided for your comfort only. So, if you forgot to insert your ballot into the secrecy envelope first, and you’ve sealed the envelope you signed, no worries! You can return your ballot only in the envelope you signed, and it will be still be accepted.
- Signing your return envelope: You must sign the envelope the ballot is returned in for your ballot to be accepted. Signing someone else’s ballot envelope is a Class C Felony. Your signature on the envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card. If the signatures don’t match, or you forgot to sign the envelope, you’ll be notified. You’ll have up to the 14th day after the election to “resolve” or, submit an updated signature on the voter registration card sent to you. You may also “resolve” by visiting the Election Office (address below) to sign your ballot. If you do not “resolve” by the 8th day after the election, your name becomes public upon request.
- Submitting your ballot to the Elections Office: You may mail your ballot back to the Elections Office, it should arrive on time if mailed by Wednesday, May 13. Another option, if you can’t mail your ballot by Wednesday, May 13, is to physically bring your ballot into any official ballot drop site located in Deschutes County, or any official ballot drop site in Oregon. In order to be counted toward the current election, your ballot must be received by 8:00 p.m. on May 19, Election Day. Postmarks do not count.
A list of Deschutes County drop site locations is available in the Voters’ Pamphlet that accompanied your ballot, or online at www.deschutes.org/clerk . For more information about the above instructions, please visit www.deschutes.org/clerk/page/elections-and-voting or call 541-388-6546.
Deschutes County is asking businesses to display a poster for a week, from Wednesday, May 13, through Election Day, Tuesday, May 19 to help remind voters to return their ballots to the Election Office. The goal is that if a voter hasn’t returned their ballot that seeing a poster reminds them to do so.