Oregon’s May 19th Primary Election will continue as planned. The certified list of 371 candidates that filed to run for office has been sent to our county election experts this week so that they can begin laying out the ballots to be sent to the printer. The voters’ pamphlet is also being put together and proofread so it can be sent to the printer later this month.
Ballots for military and overseas voters will be mailed out not later than April 4th, and regular ballots will be mailed out starting April 29th.
Because Oregon votes by mail we do not have to be concerned about social distancing issues at polling places that so many other states are struggling with. Many states are looking to implement our vote by mail system as a safer way to conduct elections in November. Contingency plans are being prepared to deal with any impacts the COVID-19 virus may have on our election processes.
The May 19th election is a primary election. Primaries serve two main purposes. The first is for all voters to be able to cast ballots for candidates for nonpartisan offices like judges and some county and other local offices. The second is for the voters registered with a major political party to select their nominees for partisan office like US President, Oregon Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General and legislators at both the state and national level.
Those registered as not affiliated with a political party, or registered with a minor party (Constitution, Independent, Libertarian, Pacific Green, Progressive, Working Families) will receive a ballot that includes only nonpartisan offices. The US Supreme Court has ruled that political parties get to decide who votes in their primaries so those of you registered as not affiliated with a political party or registered with a minor party will not have candidates for President or any partisan office on your May primary ballot. You will have them on your November 3rd ballot. Only registered Republicans will be able to vote to choose their nominees for partisan offices, and only registered Democrats will be able to vote to choose their nominees for partisan offices.
If you desire to register to vote, update your registration, or change your political party, the deadline is April 28th but please do it as soon as possible. As always, go to your trusted source of election information at oregonvotes.gov.