This is a busy week for voters and election officials with the May 17 primary election approaching.
Voter registrations are due by tomorrow at 5 pm.
Also due tomorrow are changes in party affiliation.
On Wednesday, more than 153,000 ballots for the May 2022 Primary Election will be mailed to registered voters in Deschutes County.
If you aren’t registered yet, you have less than 24 hours to get it done.
“To update your voter registration, you can do that online on OregonVotes.gov. That’s the Oregon Secretary of State’s election website. You’ll just need your driver’s license or Oregon ID number to do so,” said Steve Dennison, Deschutes County Clerk. “Or you can fill out a new registration card and those are, of course, available in county clerk’s offices.”
With election security top of mind, some interesting changes are on tap for the May 17th primary.
Among them: ballots postmarked by the day of the election will be accepted and counted, up to seven days after the election.
And no more secrecy sleeves in the ballot package.
“We’ve integrated a secrecy weave on the inside of the ballot return envelope to protect the security and privacy of the voters,” Dennison said.
I spoke with several voters who were in the county clerk’s updating their registration or party affiliation.
All said they are confident in the security of the vote by mail system.
“I don’t understand what all the hullabaloo is about. It just seems like we do it just perfect,” said Ginger Ramy, Bend.
Last week, Deschutes County Commissioners approved a grant from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to modernize the election system.
In Deschutes County that money will go to adding some ballot drop box locations in Redmond and installing ADA-compliant equipment for people who need assistance voting.
Dennison said voters typically don’t think about partisan issues “until they’ve got a ballot in their hands so change party affiliation now or wait for next election.”
If voters do not receive their ballot by Wednesday, May 4, they are encouraged to contact the county clerk.
Click here for additional information about the May 17 primary election.