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Oregon

Oregon had little need to enact temporary electoral reforms in 2020, as its existing system proved resilient enough to maintain its ability to allow voters to vote safely, both in person and by mail, in spite of the pandemic. Yet, despite its admirable accessible mail voting system, there are always opportunities to further improve. The State should implement SDVR, mandate RLAs, establish vote centers, and improve statewide ballot tracking. These reforms will bring Oregon one step closer to a more safe, efficient, and voter-friendly election process. As always, we stress that policy is important, but it is just as important that it is implemented well.

As of 2021....

No Excuse Required

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote by mail

Online Mail Ballot Application

Online Mail Ballot Application

Apply for mail ballot online

Robust Ballot Return Option

Robust Ballot Return Option

U.S. mail, drop boxes, vote centers, and more

Prepaid Postage

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Accepts ballots postmarked by Election Day

Ballot Tracking

Ballot Tracking

Online method to check ballot status

Signature Verification

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Cure Process

Cure Process

Ability to correct issues so ballot can be counted

Preprocessing

Preprocessing

Election official may process ballot before Election Day

Opportunities

Ballot tracking software such as Ballot Scout or BallotTrax can be a very cost-effective tool to improve Oregon’s current ballot tracking system. An expanded notification system helps keep rejection rates low and increases voter confidence and participation.
Creating vote centers at which any voter could vote or deposit their mail ballot would further lessen the reliance on the postal service and increase voter convenience and confidence.

Recent Legislation

As of August 17, 2021

Oregon has been conducting its elections by mail for years, so the state already had the infrastructure needed in order to run elections safely and securely in the “new normal.” However, not willing to rest on its laurels, so far in 2021 the state has protected passed three major mail voting laws: HB 3291 allows ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted if received within a week after election day, SB27 extends preprocessing, and HB 2323 criminalizes communicating knowingly false statements to mislead voters about using the electoral system, including about vote by mail procedures and deadlines.