10% of MultCo ballots cast, officials start checking signatures

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ballots for the 2020 election went out in the mail this past week and, as of Saturday, more than 59,000 people in Multnomah County have already turned them back in. That figure translates to roughly 10% of the county’s registered voters.

Unfortunately this year, there are some who are trying to intentionally mislead voters about how to vote and how safe mail-in voting is. A social media post circulating said there’s a way to vote online in Oregon, but that is simply not true.

Registered voters can change their mailing address or residential address online, but people cannot vote that way.

If you have registered to vote, you should get your ballot in the mail by the 21st, if you haven’t already. You can then fill it out and mail it back or drop it off at any official ballot box in the state.

Multnomah County election workers at a ballot drop box in Portland, October 17, 2020 (KOIN)

“Make a plan and choose the method of returning your ballot that works for you,” said Tim Scott, Director of Elections for Multnomah County. “If that’s giving it to your letter carrier when they come to your house or dropping it in a neighborhood collection box—you should feel comfortable doing that.”

Scott said voter fraud in Oregon is extremely rare and that there are a number of security measures in place to prevent it. That includes checking the signature on the ballot envelope to make sure it matches what’s on file. If it doesn’t match, you will get a letter in the mail. You then have until 14 days after the election to fix the issue.

The Elections Office can’t count the votes that have already been turned in just yet, but they can start checking signatures on those ballots. So, the earlier you vote, the more time you have to fix any potential issues and make sure your vote gets counted.

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