PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon voters are going to their mailboxes early to cast their ballots in the May 19 primary in which election officials expect a 50% voter turnout.

Many eyes around the country will be on Oregon for the May 19 primary, not so much for who wins as for how people vote. A vote-by-mail plan is gaining some traction in the US Congress and in states around the country, but it’s nothing new in Oregon.

Election workers began taking ballots out of election envelopes Tuesday and can begin to tally the votes on Wednesday.

“The Monday after ballots went out, which was last Monday, we got more ballots back than any other Monday after ballots went out of any election ever,” Multnomah County Elections Director Tim Scott told KOIN 6 News. “So I think people really are staying safe, staying at home, and voting by mail.”

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Voters have until Thursday to mail their ballot. If you don’t drop it in the mailbox by then, there are 24-hour drop-off sites all over the state. And because the libraries are closed during the pandemic, Multnomah County voters can put their ballot into any county library book return box.