General Election Day, and the start of election results week, is just under two weeks away.
Voters in vote-by-mail states Oregon and Washington should have ballots in hand, and the time has come to fill it out, fill it out correctly and return it, say local election officials.
If your ballot for the Nov. 3 election has not arrived, residents should contact their elections office.
Hood River County currently has 15,537 registered voters; in 2016 General Election, the figure was 13,553 registered voters — a 14 percent increase.
Wasco County has 18,390 registered; in 2016 it was 15,613 — a 18 percent increase.
Klickitat County has 15,000 registered; in 2016 it was 13,974 — a 7 percent increase.
“We continue to get a significant number of registration each day, about 15-25 each day,” Darlene Johnson, deputy clerk in Hood River County, said in early October.
“I attribute it to an increase in population in the county as well as the high interest in this election,” Wasco County Clerk Lisa Gambee said in an email on Friday afternoon. “We’re already getting ballots back from the main mailing two days ago which is quicker than previous years.”
Mail it or hand-deliver
“We understand voters have concerns about the recent news regarding the United State Postal System,” Johnson said. “We have been communicating closely with our partners at the USPS and they continue to support our elections and go above and beyond to make sure that ballots travel efficiently through the mail. They have told us that no delay is expected in mail delivery during this election. Oregon has been doing voting successfully by mail for 20 years and we expect continued success this year.”
Secure ballot drop sites:
Wasco County — Maupin Civic Center, County Courthouse, Fifth Street.
Hood River County — Administrative Building, Sixth and State; Cascade Locks City Hall
Klickitat County — Bickleton, E. Market and S. Madison streets; Bingen City Hall; Dallesport Community Center; Glenwood, 209 E. Main; Goldendale, north of alley at 114 S. Columbia; Klickitat, Depot Park; Lyle Lions Club; Roosevelt School; Trout Lake, east of Post Office; White Salmon, 501 N.E. Washington; and Wishram Park
Key points to remember about voting by mail:
• Filling out a ballot is simple but it needs to be done according to instructions provided.
Fully fill in the oval next to your candidate or ballot measure choice; don’t use a check mark or X.
• Put your ballot in the inner sleeve, and place the sleeve inside the return envelope.
• Seal the ballot envelope, which is prepaid.
• Sign the envelope. Sign only your own name.
Remember that a ballot can be invalidated, or subject to delayed tabulation, if the ballot is incorrectly marked, or the signature is incomplete or does not match the voter registration on record at your county.
Ballot tracking, follow-up
Wasco County elections office: 541-506-2530
Klickitat County elections office: 509-773-4001
Hood River County elections office: 541-386-1442
Give the Postal Service at least one week to get your ballot to you before requesting a replacement. Election offices offer curbside service, where you can make an appointment and pull up to our front curb and staff will bring necessary paperwork to you. Replacement ballots may be requested right up to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Stolen ballots found
Over the weekend, the Oregon State Police recovered pieces of stolen mail, including 15 general election ballots belonging to Hood River residents living on Eugene Street, Hazel Street, and Lovers Lane.
The ballots were returned to the Elections Office and all of the voters have been mailed replacement ballots on Oct. 19, deputy clerk Darlene Johnson reported late Monday afternoon. If you have not received your ballot, contact the Hood River Elections Office at 541-386-1442.