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Elections officials urge voters to return ballots early

Tiffany Eckert
The deadline to return a ballot at a drop box for the 2022 primary is 8 p.m. on May 17.

Elections officials are urging voters not to wait until the last minute to turn in their ballot.

A new law allows voters to wait until Election Day to mail their ballot. As long as it has a legible postmark and is delivered within a week, it will count. But that could mean final results will take longer to tabulate.

Lane County elections manager Cheryl Betschart said if you want to know the results as soon as possible on Election Night, then get your ballots in now.

“We find that as many ballots that can get processed and turned in prior to Election Day, or even early on Election Day, is better for the efficiency and for adding more votes to those tabulated numbers that are released at 8 o’clock [on Election Night],” she said.

Betschart encourages people who wait until Election Day to vote to use a drop box. That will remove any question as to whether the ballot is postmarked in time.

As of Monday, voter turnout was still under ten percent statewide in this month’s primary.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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