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Postmarks count, but only if you beat the deadline

Rachael McDonald
Postal mailboxes, such as this one in Eugene, list the time of day the mail is scheduled to be collected.

Tomorrow is the last day to return your ballot for the May primary in Oregon. A new law means postmarks will count towards meeting the deadline, but only if you drop your ballot in a mailbox in time.

To be considered valid, a ballot must have a postmark no later than Election Day. That means if you wait until Election Day itself to mail it, you have to make sure you put it in a postal mailbox before the last pick-up of the day.

That information is usually posted on the mailbox, along with information about the location and time of the final pickup in the area. Mail is picked up from most collection boxes in the mid-to-late afternoon, but some are scheduled for pick-ups as early as 10 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Postal Service said he’s not aware of any local post offices in Oregon planning to make later-than-usual pickups of mail on Election Day. The agency has offered later-than-usual mail pick-ups in the past on tax filing day.

To be safe, voters can also hand-deliver their ballot to an official ballot dropbox until 8 p.m. on Election Night.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. 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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