PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Ballots were mailed out this week to Oregonians registered to vote, and already thousands of those ballots have been cast.

Friday, the Multnomah County elections office began collecting ballots from county drop boxes. Those boxes are placed in cities around Oregon, giving voters a place to drop off their ballot instead of putting it in the mail.

Friday, many people walked to the elections office in Southeast Portland, excited to cast their ballot.

“I’m feeling positive that in Oregon we can vote without intimidation and we can vote without fear of voter suppression,” said Rod Such, who voted Friday.

Elections officials begin collecting ballots from drop boxes

Image:KPTV

“It feels great. I love the Oregon system, I think everybody should do it. It seems like it gives equal opportunity and ample time to figure out what you want to say,” Mitch Thomas said as he dropped off his ballot.

No one who spoke with Fox 12 said they were concerned about voter fraud, which has become a major concern nationwide. President Donald Trump has called out mail-in voting as being unsafe, but elections officials say that’s just not true.

“We’ve been perfecting this system for two decades and it works. I can tell you it works,” said Tim Scott, director of elections for Multnomah County.

More than 13,000 ballots have been collected so far in Multnomah County. And with officials beginning to collect ballot drop boxes on Friday, many more are on the way.

Elections officials begin collecting ballots from drop boxes

Image: KPTV

“They collect the ballots from inside the box or from inside the library in locked totes. And then they put them in the van and they drive back to the elections office,” Scott said.

He says once the ballots arrive at the office, they are put into machines which verify their legitimacy.

“That machine’s doing several tasks. First, it is capturing an image of the signature on the ballot envelope and then it is also scanning the barcode that is on the outside of the envelope. Both of those are security features of vote by mail,” said Scott.

Scott says that mail-in voting is safe, but if anyone has concerns, dropping off your ballot at an official drop box is a good idea. It’s an option that many Oregonians choose.

“I know that my ballot’s being received by an official place,” said Thomas.

If you want to find a drop box near you, you can go to your county’s elections website for detailed locations.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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