Vote By Mail Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Can someone find out how I've voted?

No. All ballots are separated from the return envelope before the ballots are inspected.  This step ensures your vote stays confidential.

Can someone find out if I voted?

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

Do I have to return my ballot by mail?

No. You may mail your ballot or return it to any county elections office or any designated drop box site. 

Locations and schedules of official drop box sites in Clatsop County are listed on our website.

How do I know if my ballot was received?

There are two ways you can find out:

  • Call the county elections office at 503-325-8511. We keep a record showing each voter whose ballot has been returned
  • Go online to My Vote and check the status of your ballot.

How Do I Vote?

You must be registered to vote to receive a ballot. 

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, place it in the return envelope. Be sure to sign the return envelope after verifying that your name and current residence address are correct. 

Returning Your Ballot

You may mail your ballot: Ballots received from the United States Post Office 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.

I have more questions

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

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

We will send you a "Notice of Unsigned Ballot Envelope" with instructions on what you need to do to have your ballot counted.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

If you make a mistake that cannot be corrected, call the elections office and ask for a replacement ballot. We will mail one to you as long as your request is received with sufficient time for mailing. 

Otherwise, you may pick up a replacement ballot in person.

What if my ballot doesn't come?

If your ballot does not arrive within 5 days after we’ve mailed them, please call the Clatsop County Elections Office at 503-325-8511. After we check your voter registration status, we will send you a replacement ballot or explain your other options.

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

The holes in the return envelope allow us to make sure all materials are removed from the envelope when we are opening and processing the ballots.

What is Vote By Mail?

Vote By Mail is how registered voters submit their ballot in Oregon.

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 the issues and candidates before marking the ballot and
  • Saves taxpayer dollars

When are the ballots counted?

Ballot opening and the counting of ballots for the May 21, 2024 Primary Election begins this XX/XX/XXXX 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 results announced on election night. 

Mailed ballots that arrive after Election Day but within the state-required seven-day deadline will be counted on XX/XX/XXXX.

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.

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

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.

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

Yes, the ballot will be counted.

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