Registered to vote? Better do it by April 24
SALEM — Are you registered to vote?
The deadline to register in time to vote in the May 15 primary election is Tuesday, April 24.
As officials prepare more than 2 million ballots for election day, it doesn't hurt to double check. "A lot of people think they're registered when they're not registered," said Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess.
You can see if your registration is active, and see the status of your ballot, at www.oregonvotes.gov and clicking on the green "My Vote" button.
You can also register to vote at the website. If you'd rather register in person, you can do so at your local county elections office.
Oregon's constitution says you must be registered to vote at least 20 days before an election to vote in that election. April 24 is also the deadline to select a political party if you want to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.
Oregon does have an automatic voter registration law that, if you are eligible, registers you to vote if you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and perform a "qualifying transaction," such as renewing your driver's license.
At this point, it's best to register either online or in person at a county elections office.
"If a person goes to the DMV to renew their license they will be registered, however, the record does not enter our system for a period of time," Clatsop County Clerk Tracie Krevanko wrote in an email to the EO/Pamplin Capital Bureau Wednesday. "It would be advised that they actually come to the elections office at this time if they are wanting to update their party or register for the first time."
You can pick up a registration form at your local DMV, county elections office or post office. If you mail the card, it needs to have a postmark of April 24, according to the Deschutes County Clerk's Office.
Only Oregonians registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in their parties' primaries on May 15. The Independent Party of Oregon has opened its primary this year to voters not affiliated with any political party. Non-affiliated voters can request an Independent Party of Oregon ballot; that form needs to be submitted to your county clerk by 5 p.m. April 24.
Non-affiliated voters and members of the state's five minor parties — Libertarian, Constitution, Working Families, Progressive and Green — will be mailed a ballot including all nonpartisan races that they are eligible to vote in.
The state has safeguards that not allow you to only request another ballot if you need one, but also keep track if you submit more than one ballot. If, for example, you forget to vote and you're on vacation in a different county on election night, you can request a new ballot by going to the elections office of the county you're in, says Burgess, the Marion County clerk.
In that case, your new ballot will be counted after election night but before the election is certified, Burgess said.
East Oregonian / Pamplin Media Group