Election 2018

Ballot basics: What you need to know as voting begins for Nov. 6 General

Pink sign at ballot drop-off locations is an unprecedented effort to prevent voters turning in incomplete — and potentially uncountable — county ballots.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Pink sign at ballot drop-off locations is an unprecedented effort to prevent voters turning in incomplete — and potentially uncountable — county ballots.

Say you’re a snowbird and you like to vote, but after about Nov. 1, you’re hard to track down in Arizona.

It is something to keep in mind as voting gets underway for the Nov. 6 General Election, and bright pink evidence of that is visible on State Street.

Ballots to out-of-country voters and absentees have been issued by Hood River County Elections Department.

The bulk of ballots will be mailed on Oct. 17 to registered voters in the county.

Voter registration deadline is Oct. 16 for new registrants and current voters with a change of address or other update to their registration information.

Since some absentee voters might already choose to drop off their ballots, County Chief Deputy Kim Kean of County Elections put up a pink placard outside the drop box in front of the County Building on Sixth and State.

It reads, “Do not deposit a ballot without a signature envelope. They will not count.”

It’s just to the right of the orange “Vote Here” sign.

The other county drop-off location is at Cascade Locks City Hall.

“People like to put secrecy envelope in without it, and we can’t count it that way, and we like everyone’s vote to count,” Kean said.

Early voting is one of three potential ballot complications to keep in mind; Kean also noted that many people have recently updated their voter registration, and if you’re among them, you might received two ballots.

“I’m getting lots of updates online, and any of those people will get a reissued ballot, so they will get two ballots at the same time,” Kean explained.

You may cast only one of those ballots.

Remember: Keep the one with the green sticker and discard the other.

Also, if you just received your Oregon driver’s license and think you are automatically registered to vote through the DMV, it is best to register online or in person, as the waiting period may put you over the registration deadline and you will not be able to vote, according to Kean.

Each ballot contains two envelopes: The secrecy envelope for the ballot itself and the outer envelope for mailing or drop-off.

It is the outer envelope that must be signed, using your current voter registration signature.

Once received, election staff scans the ballot and accounts for its arrival, then the county election board will check the signature on the envelope against the official registration signature to ensure they match. If not, the voter is notified; if there is a discrepancy, in most cases, the voter must come to the county office to take care of it.

And it’s a long drive back from Yuma.

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