Voter Registration in Oregon
“Am I registered to vote in Oregon?” If you are asking yourself this question, you will want to learn more about the state’s system for registering voters. There is a deadline by which you must be registered if you intend to vote in an upcoming election. Missing this deadline means you will not be able to make a choice about your future representatives. In this article, you will learn how to register to vote in Oregon: whether you are eligible, how you can register and what to do if you are a service member currently serving overseas.
Given Oregon’s unique system for requiring all votes to be mailed in, it can be useful to people who have just moved to read about Oregon’s voting system. You do not have to ask, “Where do I vote in Oregon?” but you may have questions about the process and your eligibility. Learning about this process allows you to focus on the candidates, instead of the process, making informed decisions about who would best represent your views in the government.
Who can register to vote in Oregon?
Though voter registration in Oregon is open to many adults across the state, there are some exceptions. First, you must be recognized by the federal government as a US citizen. As well, you cannot be younger than 16 in order to register to vote. You will not be able to vote until you are 18, but registering early ensures you will be able to vote in the first election you are eligible for.
Unlike in many states, Oregon does not have specific residency requirements or felon restrictions. That said, you are only eligible to vote in one state, which means you can only be registered in one state. If you register in Oregon, the registration you hold in any other state will be invalidated.
Oregon Voter Registration Deadline
You can register to vote in Oregon no less than 21 days before an election. If you attempt to register after this time, you will not be able to vote in the upcoming election. Instead, your form will be processed afterward. No exceptions are made for forms that are mailed in, so if you are nearing the deadline, it may be more expedient to register in person or online.
How to Register to Vote in Oregon
There are three ways you can register to vote in Oregon. They are:
- Mailing a registration form to the county election board
- Using the Secretary of State’s online portal
- Going to a voter registration drive, county election office or DMV
You will need to fill out a Voter Registration Card, which requires you to submit either information on your photo ID or the Serial Number of your SSN. You will also need to note your name, address and which political party you want to be a part of.
Early Voting in Oregon
Early voting is not offered by the state of Oregon, because its system is mail-in only. Polling locations are not open early, in the same way that they are not open on Election Day.
Oregon Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
If you are a service member who wants to vote in an upcoming Oregon election, the process is simpler than it would be if you were looking to vote in many other states. When registering to vote, you can either use the Oregon Secretary of State’s online portal, or you can send in a Voter Registration Card to the county election board.
Oregon’s Secretary of State has a Military/Overseas Voter’s Guide, which can be used to learn more about the candidates if you are unsure about the candidates and measures you want to vote for.
Oregon Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
In a sense, all Oregon voters are absentee voters. This is because Oregon has a mail-in only system, which means that instead of going to the polls, people send their vote in via the mail. Voters are encouraged to send their ballots in at least a week before Election Day, unless they choose to use one of the election drop boxes.
This is because the county board of elections do not consider the postmark date when counting ballots. Instead, they only count the ballots that they receive by the end of Election Day, at 8 p.m.
Voter Registration Cards in Oregon
Voter registration cards include important identifying information about you, such as your name and address. They can be used as a form of identification, but this is not their primary purpose, because Oregon’s mail-in system does not require you to go to the polls and show a form of ID.
Instead, these cards will have your signature, which may be checked against the signature you use when you sign your ballot. Oregon also refers to the registration form as the Voter Registration Card, but it is important not to get the two confused. One is a form, the other is the card you receive in the mail.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Oregon
If you want to change your voter registration in Oregon, you can either submit a new registration form or use the state’s online portal. The information on the new registration form will replace your current registration information.
This works for voter registration change of address, party or name. There are three major parties and five minor parties in Oregon. If you want to be an Independent, you will need to check the “Not a member of a party” box. The “Other” is designed for any parties not listed.
How to Replace a Lost Oregon Voter Registration Card
If you have lost your Oregon voter registration card, you will need to contact the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. You can either call at (503) 986-1518 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also make sure that you go through the proper procedures for replacing your driver’s license and other important documents if you have lost them due to a catastrophic event, like a natural disaster.