Oregon Moves to Accommodate Voters Displaced by Wildfires

[Image via KTVZ]

Oregon’s Secretary of State is alerting voters displaced by the current wildfires about their options for receiving a 2020 ballot. KTVZ has more:

Secretary of State Bev Clarno offered information Tuesday in response to the wildfires and to ensure all displaced Oregonians are able to receive their ballot and vote this November.

“The families and communities affected by the devastating wildfires across Oregon are in my thoughts and prayers. Our team at Secretary of State stands ready to help, both in the immediate response and long-term recovery efforts to come.

“For any Oregonians displaced from their home and concerned about voting in the General Election this November, rest assured we have a plan and are working closely with local election officials to ensure you can receive your ballot, vote, and make your voices heard,” Clarno said.

Specifically, the state has a list of frequently asked questions at oregonvotes.gov/fires:

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I receive my ballot if I have been displaced by wildfires?

  1. Ballots will start being mailed October 14. If you know an address where you will be able to receive mail then, you can add a temporary mailing address at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.
  2. If you want, you may also use this paper form to provide us with a temporary address.
  3. You can pick up all of your mail (including ballots once they are mailed) at the post office that serves your permanent residence address.
  4. Contact your county election office after October 1 for additional options they may have for pickup. Find your county election office here.

If I submit a change of address through USPS, will my ballot be forwarded to the new address?

No. Ballots are unable to be forwarded. It is one of the security features of our system. You must inform election officials of your temporary address using one of the methods above in order to have your ballot sent there.

Do I need to register to vote from my temporary address?

No. You do not need to re-register to vote if you are living somewhere temporarily because you have been displaced by wildfires. You just need to let us know where to mail your ballot by one of the methods above.

Will I be able to vote on the local measures where my permanent address is located, even if I am temporarily living outside that area?

Yes. The ballot you receive will contain the contests for your residential address, not your temporary mailing address.

What if my mailbox was destroyed?

If mail cannot be delivered to your home or mailbox, it will be held at your local post office and you can pick it up there.

This has been an extraordinary election year and election officials across the nation are doing all they can to keep serving their voters in the face of widespread disease and disaster; kudos to Oregon for its quick response and Godspeed to all the residents and first responders battling the fires. Please stay safe and stay tuned …

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