Register to vote in Oregon primaries by April 30

Oregonians have until April 30 to register to vote or change their party affiliation before the May 21 primary.

Only registered Republicans and Democrats will be able to vote in most primary elections, including picking nominees for Congress, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general and legislative districts.

Voters have until April 30 to register to vote, update their registration and pick a political party.

Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valadez is continuing a campaign of public service announcements that began in 2022 with short, animated videos featuring “Blobby,” a cartoon blob who enjoys voting. The Legislature allocated $150,000 for the 2024 campaign.

The latest video explains how Oregon keeps ballots secure. Local election officials mail them out beginning in early May, and every ballot envelope has a unique barcode. Once voters cast their ballots, they place them back in the envelope, sign the outside of the envelope and can drop it in a mailbox or return it to a ballot dropbox or other official collection site. Ballots need to be returned to a box or collection site by 8 p.m. May 21 or postmarked by that day.

Once a completed ballot arrives at the county election headquarters, workers scan the barcode to mark it as received, then verify that the signature on the outside of the ballot envelope matches the one on a voter’s file. If the signatures don’t match, voters have an opportunity to fix the problem.

After signatures are verified, ballots can be counted. Initial results will be posted on state and county websites shortly after 8 p.m. on May 21, and they’ll be updated as more votes are counted. At that point, observers should know enough that media outlets and campaigns will be able to call races, or say with a reasonable degree of certainty who’s going to win. Results won’t be official until late June, when Griffin-Valade certifies the election after local election offices complete post-election audits.

Oregon Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oregon Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Lynne Terry for questions: Follow Oregon Capital Chronicle on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter.


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