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The county is creating a traffic plan ahead of the election but officials suggest for people to vote early.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Washington County election officials are prepared for late ballots ahead of the November election. They hope others will vote early to avoid traffic at drop box sites.

Washington County officials are urging people to vote early or expect long lines at ballot boxes on election day.

The county is putting together a traffic plan ahead of the election, according to Washington County spokesperson Lisa DuPre'. The plan will include working with law enforcement for heavy traffic expected at different drop box sites.

"It's just making sure there's personnel out there to direct traffic," said DuPre'. "You can't prevent the traffic issue from happening. You just have to have somebody there guiding people in and out."

She added, "The only prevention is if everybody votes early. There are a lot of lines that are inevitably going to happen if everybody waits to the last minute to get to the ballot drop boxes."

Whether you pick a mailbox or a ballot box, DuPre' urges people to vote early because you're allowing for the ballot to get there when it counts.

What about a postmark?

Your ballot won't count unless it's in hand at the elections office, or in an official ballot drop box, by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

"We're advising a guideline window for mailing from October 24 through October 27," said DuPre'. "You're taking a chance if you try and do it in less than seven days. At that point, it's the ballot box or drop site. If you're doing that, voting early just helps you avoid getting caught in traffic."

The elections office is also prepared for an influx of last-minute ballots. There will be a small box for ballots available outside of the office in Hillsboro.

If you usually drop off your ballot at a library, the county has a plan for that as well. Considering some libraries are closed, under limited hours, or operating at a small capacity, county officials are working with libraries to stage a drop-off center.

"What's going to happen at those libraries that previously hosted indoor drop boxes are that they're going to have outdoor drop boxes under a canopy," said DuPre'.

The county suggests to check in with your local library as they figure out hours of operation leading up to election day.

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