Vote By Mail Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Vote?

You must be registered to vote to receive a ballot.  (Please see voter registration for more information.)  A ballot will automatically be sent 20 to 14 days prior to the election to all registered voters who are eligible to vote in the election.  Once you mark your ballot, just place it in the return envelope.  Be sure to sign the return envelope after verifying your name and current residence address are correct. 

You may mail your ballot: Ballots received from the USPS after election day will be accepted if they are postmarked on or before election day and received by the 7th day after the election and you have signed the envelope. Your return envelope is postage-paid, so there is no need for a postage stamp. Or, you may drop off your ballot at the Public Services Building, 820 Exchange St., Astoria, and other designated ballot drop sites by 8 p.m. on election day.

What if my ballot doesn't come?

If your ballot does not arrive within 5 days after they have been mailed, please call the Clatsop County Elections Office at (503) 325-8511.  After checking your voter registration status, the office will send you a replacement ballot or explain your other options.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

If you make a mistake that cannot by corrected, you may call the elections office and request a replacement ballot.  One will be mailed to you provided the request is received with sufficient time for mailing.  Otherwise, you may pick up a replacement ballot in person.

Will my vote count if I don't vote on all measures and/or candidates?

Yes, the ballot will be counted.

What if I forgot to sign my return envelope mail it in?

You will be sent a "Notice of Unsigned Ballot Envelope" with instructions on how to have your ballot counted.

Can I change my mind after I have returned the ballot?

No.  Your ballot has been cast as soon as you deposit it in the mailbox or at a drop site.  After that, you cannot receive a new ballot to re-vote.

Do I have to return my ballot by mail?

No.  You have the choice of mailing your ballot or returning it to any county elections office or any designated drop site.  The locations and schedules of official drop sites in Clatsop County are listed on our website.


How do I know if my ballot was received?

Call the county elections office and ask.  A record is kept showing each voter whose ballot has been returned.

Can someone find out how I've voted?

No.  All ballots are separated from the return envelope before the ballots are inspected.  This process ensures confidentiality.

Can someone find out if I voted?

Yes.  That information is public record.  However, no one can find out how you voted.

When are the ballots counted?

Ballot-opening and counting of ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election begins this Friday, Nov. 4 and will continue until all ballots received by the election deadline are counted.

All ballots deposited in drop boxes by 8 p.m. Election Day will be counted and included in the results announced in election night. Mailed ballots that arrive after Election Day but within the state-required seven-day deadline will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 9 or Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Because of the new state rule allowing ballots to be postmarked on Election Day, the results of some contests and measures may not be known until after Election Day.

When will election results be known?

Initial results are released at 8 p.m. on election day and are updated until all ballots have been counted.

Election Results Update Schedule

What is the purpose of the holes in the return envelope?

The holes in the return envelope serve two purposes:

One, is for the sight impaired. They find the two holes on either side of the signature box and sign their name between them.

Two, they allow us to make sure all materials are removed from the envelope when opening and processing the ballots.

Where is the optional secrecy envelope/sleeve?

The return envelope has been printed with a privacy weave, therefore eliminating the need for an optional secrecy envelope/sleeve. This has been approved by the Secretary of State"s Office.

I have more questions

Call Clatsop County Elections at (503) 325-8511 and our staff will be happy to assist you.

What is Vote By Mail?

In 1998, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure directing all elections be conducted by mail, commonly called Vote By Mail. Instead of voters going to traditional polling places to cast ballots on election day, a ballot is mailed to each registered voter. Voters return their ballot to the county elections office and it is counted on Election Day. Vote by mail increases voter participation, removes barriers that can keep people from getting to the polls, allows people more time to study issues and candidates before marking the ballot, and saves taxpayer dollars.

View All FAQ's