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What to do if your ballot is returned to you

Disability Rights Oregon logo

Above is the logo for Disability Rights Oregon

What to do if your ballot is returned to you

Did you participate in the 2018 General Election only to find your ballot returned to you? If so, your ballot has been returned to you as a “Challenged Ballot.” Your vote will still count, if you take further action.

Reasons for Challenged Ballots 

There are three reasons a ballot could be challenged: 

  • The voter forgot to sign their ballot envelope;
  • If the signature on the voter’s ballot envelope does not match the signature in the voter registration file;
  • If a voter challenges another voter’s eligibility to vote.

In the 2016 General Election, the ballots of 28,322 Oregonians were challenged or had signature issues.

Act Quickly

The Oregon Secretary of State encourages all Oregonians who receive a challenged ballot to quickly contact their county elections office. For an explanation of the process, the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office has an FAQ that touches on:

  • What's a challenged ballot?
  • How does a challenged ballot inactivate a voter?
  • What if there's not enough time to receive a ballot?
  • Signature Stamp Attestation

If you are a voter with disabilities whose signature has changed, or regularly changes, because of your disability, when you contact your county’s election office, ask about obtaining a Signature Stamp Attestation.

Important Dates

Wednesday, November 14: Ballots containing signature issues will become public record.

Tuesday, November 20: Deadline for voters to resolve any issues with their ballot in order to have it counted.

If the issue is not resolved and the county’s election office has not returned a corrected ballot by November 20, the voter will be placed into an inactive status. f a voter file is marked inactive, ballots are no longer sent to that voter. The voter will need to send in a form or go to their elections office to update their registration with their current signature and get a ballot.

Questions?

If you have any problems or questions about your rights as a voter, contact the Disability Rights Oregon voting hotline at: 888-339-VOTE (8683).

Special thanks for Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) for providing this important information on making sure that your vote is counted. DRO focuses on empowering Oregonians with disabilities with information and tools that they can use to uphold their civil rights. The organization's website provides further information on their services and programs.

Voter holding sign reading Disability issues matter, I vote.

Above is a photo of a voter holding a sign that reads:
"Disability issues matter. I vote."