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Oregon voters must cast May election ballots by 8 pm Tuesday

Voters need to drop off their ballots by Election Day or make sure they're postmarked by May 16.
Ron Cooper
Oregon Capital Chronicle
Voters need to drop off their ballots by Election Day or make sure they're postmarked by May 16.

Oregonians have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to return their ballots for the May election.

As of midday Monday, just more than 471,000 Oregonians – less than 16% of the nearly 3 million registered voters who received ballots by mail – had voted, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Turnout was highest in Wallowa County, where more than one-third of voters had handed in their ballots, and lowest in Umatilla County, where fewer than 10% of voters returned ballots.

There aren’t any statewide races on the ballot, but voters throughout the state will get to weigh in on local property taxes and elect members of school boards and other local districts.

Voters in some parts of the state will also directly vote on policies from homeless camps to moving the Oregon-Idaho border.

Multnomah County voters will decide whether to create a 0.75% tax on capital gains to pay for eviction assistance. In Newberg, voters could opt to ban temporary shelters, such as managed homeless camps, within 1,500 feet of a school, and prohibit the city from supporting such shelters unless voters approve it during a primary or general election in an even-numbered year.

Voters in Ashland will decide whether to nearly double their mayor’s pay and nearly triple city councilors’ pay to $900 monthly. And Wallowa County could join 11 other counties that have voted to indicate they want to secede from Oregon and become part of Idaho.

Ballots mailed Tuesday may still be counted, but only if they receive a postmark on Tuesday. Election officials recommend dropping ballots off at a designated dropbox or county election office to be sure it’s counted.

Voters who can’t make it to a dropbox or election office should check when mail is picked up. Collection boxes display scheduled pickup times, and that information can be found on the U.S. Postal Service’s website as well.

Where to drop off your ballot

County clerk offices will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters can also check a printed list or search using their address to find the closest location. Ballots will be counted faster if they’re returned to the correct county, but they can be returned to any dropbox or election office in the state.

The Oregon Capital Chronicle is a professional, nonprofit news organization. We are an affiliate of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. The Capital Chronicle retains full editorial independence, meaning decisions about news and coverage are made by Oregonians for Oregonians.

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. Julia is an award-winning journalist who reported on the tangled efforts to audit the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona.