New law changes how ballots are counted this election

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 12:19 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Primary election day is here, and a new law, now in effect, may change how soon we see results from some of the races.

The change comes for those who mail in their ballot but wait until election day to do that. If you typically drop off your ballot by 8pm on election day, you need to change nothing.

The new law was passed during last year’s Oregon legislative session. Previously, ballots were only counted if they were received by 8 pm on election day.

The new law allows mail-in ballots that are postmarked by 8pm on election and can be received by the county elections offices within a week of election day. This is meant to be helpful for more voters, but this could mean more ballots to be counted and a longer wait for results.

“Oregonians should expect that the number of ballots received in a county may increase slightly after election day. But again, these are ballots that were cast on time. They were cast by 8 p.m. by election day. In close races, it may take a couple of days before we know the unofficial winner,” said Shemia Fagan, Oregon’s Secretary of State.

So if you drop off your ballot at a postal box, make sure to check the pickup times on that box.

If there are no pickups shown after 3 or 4 pm on election day – your ballot might not make it in time to get that post mark.

Oregon’s Secretary of State said first and foremost she wants voters to be able to trust the system here.

“The bottom line is that Oregonians can be secure, can trust their election system, our elections are secure and the ballots are going to be accurately counted and the results are going to be accurately reported,” she said.

Anyone still in doubt can just drop your ballot in an election office ballot drop box and you can do that until 8 tonight.