Just in case you haven’t heard: There’s an election coming up. Here’s everything you need to be ready to vote when the time comes.
The general election includes races for president of the United States, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Oregon secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, state legislative seats and more.
Locally, voters will decide between six candidates for four seats on the Canby City Council, as well as the renewal of a five-year operating levy for the Canby Fire District and other ballot measures.
While voting will look different for many states this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, little will change in Oregon.
“Oregon has been conducting elections entirely by mail for over 20 years,” said Republican Secretary of State Bev Clarno, whose office oversees statewide elections. “Pandemic or not, it remains as effective, safe, and popular as ever.”
All registered voters in Oregon are automatically mailed an official ballot and a ballot return envelope with prepaid postage. Voting by mail leaves a paper trail — a critical feature for exposing fraud.
Ballots will be mailed to all registered Clackamas County voters beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14. It is important for residents to make sure they are registered to vote and keep their registration up to date, so that ballots are received as soon as possible.
Register to Vote
The essential building block of elections is the voter roll of registered voters. To register to vote in Oregon, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Oregon, and at least 16 years old. If you are not yet 18 years of age, you will not receive a ballot until an election occurs on or after your 18th birthday.
Eligible voters who need to register for this year’s election must do so by Oct. 13. Most Oregonians (those with a valid Oregon Driver’s License/Permit/ID card) can register online. All others can complete a voter registration card and return it to the county elections office.
Register to Vote: sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/registration.aspx
All households in Clackamas County will also receive two Voters’ Pamphlets — one for state contests and one for local contests. Voters’ Pamphlets will be delivered to households until a week before ballots are mailed, but the digital pamphlet (for local elections) is available now.
Digital Voters’ Packet: dochub.clackamas.us/documents/drupal/9cdf35f7-a244-48e0-95de-3b527c475252
If you’ll be away from home when your ballot is set to arrive — or if the recent wildfires have forced you to change your address — contact the Clackamas County Elections Office at 503-655-8510 to discuss the best way to receive your ballot.
More information about wildfires and voting is available from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office here.
Make Your Selections
Locate the candidates and/or measure responses (“Yes” or “No”) of your choice by filling in the rectangular box to the left of your choice with black or blue ink.
To vote for a write-in candidate, one whose name does not appear on the Official Ballot, completely darken the box to the left of the dashed line provided for the office and print the full name of the candidate on that line.
Remember: You don’t have to vote in all contests on your ballot. This will be marked as an “undervote” for any races or issues you leave blank. However, your votes for the contests you select will still be counted.
If you vote for more than the number of candidates allowed for an office, or you vote both “Yes” and “No” on a measure, it is called an “overvote,” and your vote for that position or measure will not be counted.
Review Your Ballot
Ensure you have correctly marked your choice or choices for each contest. Ballots will contain contests printed on both the front and back, so remember to review both sides of your ballot.
Remember to sign your ballot return envelope. Your signature is your identification. Every signature on every ballot envelope is examined to make sure it matches the signature on the voter’s registration.
If you lose your ballot, or it is spoiled in any way, contact the county elections office at 503-655-8510 to request a replacement.
Return Your Ballot
Vote early and return your ballot by mail. No postage necessary, just make sure you mail in time to reach the county by 8 p.m. on Election Day. The last day to mail your ballot and be sure it will arrive in time is Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Remember: Postmark doesn’t matter! Only ballots that actually arrive at the county elections office by Election Day will be counted.
Alternatively, you can turn in your ballot in person at any official drop site in the state any time before the polls close at 8 p.m. Nov. 3. Canby has two drop locations: the Canby Civic Center/Canby Public Library, 222 NE 2nd Ave., and Arneson Garden (behind Fred Meyer), 249 Sequoia Parkway.
After you’ve turned it in, you can check the status of your ballot using the state’s My Vote system.
County Ballot Drop Sites: www.clackamas.us/elections/official-ballot-drop-sites
While the Secretary of State’s Office oversees elections, it partners with the clerks’ offices in each of Oregon’s 36 counties to administer elections at the local level.
“Their efforts strengthen our election system are year-round, but they step up on Election Day to process and tabulate all of the ballots,” Clarno said. “They are the true heroes of the election.”
County clerks have adjusted to the pandemic this year, ensuring extra safety precautions are in place to handle the thousands of paper ballots that will need to be verified, extracted, sorted and tabulated, Clarno added.
Unofficial results will begin to be posted soon after the 8 p.m. deadline on Election Day. Clackamas County’s will be posted here.
County Election Results: clackamas.us/elections/results.html
Counties have 20 days to certify official results to the state. This period allows election teams to complete the tallying of ballots, resolve any ballots that have been challenged, and conduct post-election audits.
Oct. 5 | Ballots mailed to voters out of state
Oct. 7-9 | In-home delivery dates for both State and County Voters’ Pamphlet
Oct. 13 | Registration deadline for new voters
Oct. 14 | Ballots mailed to all voters / Drop Sites opened
Oct. 27 | Ballot processing begins after public certification test of the tally system
Nov. 3 | Election Day! Ballots due by 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 | Last day for voters to resolve ballot challenges
Nov. 23 | Last day for County Clerk to certify election results
Who to Contact
Clackamas County Elections Division
1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100 Oregon City, OR 97045