How Vote By Mail Works
When will I get my ballot
Ballots are mailed to registered voters by county election offices 18 to 14 days before Election Day. If you have not received your ballot within a week after they are mailed, call your county elections office. They will check your registration and, if it is current, mail you a replacement ballot. Here is the direct link for the Multnomah County Elections Office.
If a ballot is delivered to your residence for someone who should no longer receive ballots at your address, write “RETURN” on the envelope and place it back in your mailbox.
How to vote your ballot
Your ballot packet will include three items: the ballot, a secrecy envelope, and a return envelope.
- Fill out your ballot. You are not required to cast a vote on every race or ballot measure.
- Place your finished ballot in the optional secrecy envelope.
- Place the secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed return envelope and seal it.
- Verify that your name and address printed on the return envelope are accurate.
- Sign the return envelope in the space indicated. You must sign the envelope for your ballot to be counted!
- Put your ballot in the mail. The postage is pre-paid. No stamp is needed! If you mail it, it must be postmarked before or on Election Day. You may also return your ballot at an official ballot drop site by 8 pm on Election Day.
If you require assistance in voting, contact the county elections office. In Multnomah County, the elections office provides trained staff who can assist voters either in the elections office or at a location chosen by the voter.
If you make a mistake on your ballot, do not return it. Call your county elections 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 the elections office.
If you forget to sign your ballot, you may be able to correct the error. If time allows, your unopened return envelope will be returned to you by mail for your signature. If time does not allow for this mailing, an attempt will be made to contact you by phone. You will then need to go to your county elections office to sign the envelope.
Deadline to return your ballot
You may submit your ballot by mail. Make sure that it is postmarked before or on Election Day. Postage is free. (Note that the deadline for mailing your ballot was changed as of January 2022, so you can mail it on Election Day. The postmark counts!)
Another option is to bring your ballot to an official drop site. You must deposit it in the official dropbox by 8 pm on Election Day.
If you will be out of town when ballots are mailed, the post office will not forward your ballot. Instead, you must request an absentee ballot from the county elections office.
You can mail or fax your request. You must include the following information:
- Multnomah County residence address
- Address to which the ballot should be mailed
- Election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot
There is an online form to request an absentee ballot. It is helpful, but not required.
You may also apply for an absentee ballot in person at the county elections office.
County Election Offices
7:00 am to 8:00 pm, Election Day
1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100
Oregon City, OR 97045
Public Service Building Suite 501
255 Capitol St. NE
Salem OR 97310
Toll free 1-866-673-VOTE (1-866-673-8683)