Tuesday is the voter registration deadline for Oregon’s Special Election

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Ballots are due May 16 for Oregon’s 2023 special election, which means Tuesday, April 25 is the last day for voters to get registered or to update their registration if they need to make a change.

Several states have no deadline and allow residents to register and vote on Election Day, but Oregon isn’t one of them; new Oregon voters don’t become eligible to cast ballots until three weeks after they register. If an election falls within that waiting period, they won’t be eligible to cast a ballot.

The May 16 Special Election includes a Multnomah County Commission race along with various local school board races and a trio of local ballot measures.

Check your status

Oregonians can register to vote or check their registration status using the Secretary of State’s online My Vote system, which can also be used to update registration for things like a change of address or party affiliation.

New registrations or updates must be filed by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday in order to take effect in time. After ballots are mailed out, voters can use My Vote to check the status of their ballots.

An Oregon driver’s license or state ID card is required to complete the registration process online. Oregonians who lack an ID will need to use the My Vote system to generate and print a voter registration card (or fill out a blank one) and submit it in person at their county elections office.

Timeline for ballots

Ballots will start being mailed out to voters on Wednesday, with the last of them scheduled to be mailed out by May 2. That’s also the last day to distribute county voters’ pamphlets, although some voters may have received theirs already.

Ballots must be submitted by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 16 in order to be counted. Voters can mail their ballots back in or drop them off at a ballot drop box. The state’s drop box locator tool is scheduled to go live 20 days before the election.

Under a new law that Oregon passed in 2021, mailed-in ballots will still be counted even if they arrive up to a week after Election Day, although they still must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Note that newly dropped-off mail does not get postmarked until it is picked up and processed.

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