This is National Voter Registration Day.
National Voter Registration Day, first observed in 2012, is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy, according to a supporting website. It is an effort to bring awareness to the importance of voting.
Oregon's next General Election is Nov. 3.
The following is a conversation with Columbia County Elections Supervisor Don Clack concerning the November General Election.
The Chief: With the recent national attention about Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, give us the range of protections and safety measures in place for the General Election in Columbia County.
Don Clack: The national attention seems to be more about widespread mail in voting as opposed to Oregon specific vote by mail. Oregon has a 20 year history of successful vote by mail elections. (See attached statement.)
At a county level, we are utilizing resources and services provided by state and federal agencies to enhance our elections physical and cyber security. Also, several in-office ballot boxes with outdoor dropboxes that will promote social distancing and also improve voter accessibility.
The Chief: What are the most important steps voters need to know to ensure their vote is received and counted in the November election?
Clack: Vote and return ballots early. Do not mail ballots after the Thursday October 29. Use a dropbox after that date. You can follow up and see the status of your ballot by using the “MyVote” function at www.oregonvotes.gov. However there is a time delay of several days after receipt and visibility here.
The Chief: What is the demographic of the most voters?
Clack: There are significantly higher turnout percentages among those 40+ across the board for all types of elections
The Chief: Could you provide us with a list of ballot drop off locations in Columbia County?
Clack: These are the planned dropbox locations. They are the same as in the past.
- Columbia County Courthouse
- Scappoose City Hall
- Rainier City Hall
- Clatskanie Library
- Vernonia Library
- Mist RFPD
We are in the process of replacing the Rainier, Clatskanie and Vernonia inside office boxes with outside boxes that are accessible 24/7 and would not be affected by facility closure or COVID restrictions.
The Chief: How many ballots will be sent out for the November General Election in Columbia County?
Clack: Current county active voter count is 39900. So approximately 40k.
The Chief: What is the deadline to register to vote, the deadline for the voter’s pamphlet to be sent out, any other critical deadlines?
Clack: October 13 is the registration deadline for new registrants. Existing voters can update their registration up to Election Day. The voter’s pamphlet distributed by the State normally the week before we mail out ballots (So, the week of October 5-9). They will be drop shipped to each local Post Office and delivered one per household. After this drop ship, surplus copies would be located at the local PO.
New registrants can register and existing voters can confirm and/or update their registration by visiting www.oregonvotes.gov.
Ballots will be mailed to the county at large beginning October 14. Voters should expect to receive their ballots by the beginning to middle of the following week. If a voter had not received a ballot the following week by the 22/23rd they should request a replacement ballot by contacting the elections office by phone or email. Email: email@example.com
Replacement ballots will not be mailed out after Thursday October 29. Arrangements would have to be made to pick one up. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a ballot to be counted it must be deposited in an official Oregon drop box or received by an Oregon elections office by 8 p.m. Election day.
For more information, call 503-397-7214.
Nov. 3, 2020 Oregon General Election Important dates
- Last day to mail ballots to Overseas/military: September 19, 2020
- First day to mail ballots out of state: October 5, 2020
- Voter registration deadline: October 13, 2020
- First day to mail ballots to county at-large: October 14, 2020
- General Election: November 3, 2020
General Information / Advisement
• Registration deadline is Tuesday October 13.
• Ballots will be mailed to the county at-large beginning October 14, 2020
• Update or verify your registration easily at www.oregonvotes.gov. Do this early, don’t delay. Your mailing address must be accurate, as ballots are mailed “return service requested” and will not be forwarded with the yellow sticker.
• Voter’s Pamphlets are delivered approximately the week before ballot mailing en masse to each local post office, after which they are distributed one per household. If you did not receive one inquire with your local carrier or visit your local Post Office.
• You can return your ballot any time after receipt via prepaid mail or using an Oregon elections drop box. Vote early.
• It is advised you do not mail your ballot after Thursday October 29. You should use a local dropbox at that time.
Look for a number of candidates running for local, county and state government positions. This is also a presidential election.
5-278: Columbia County Gun Sanctuary Ordinance
- Initiative Petition 19-3 filed 4/29/2019
- Notice of Ballot Title 5/10/2019
- Approval to Circulate 6/6/2019
- Measure number and Election assigned 3/4/2020
5-283: Five Year Local Option Tax for Cemetery Operations
- Referred by Rainier Cemetery District
- Notice of Ballot Title 7/21/202
- Notice of Election/ Measure Assigned
- Explanatory Statement
Details provided by Columbia County Elections.