What Are Voters’ Rights At Official Ballot Drop Boxes?

Increasing reports of groups planning to “watch” official ballot drop boxes in Oregon and news coverage of contentious interactions in other places have some voters questioning their rights when it comes to returning their ballots to an official ballot drop box. 

“Every eligible voter has the right to cast their ballot without intimidation,” said Lane County Clerk Dena Dawson. “We take that right very seriously in Lane County and we encourage voters to report intimidation at a ballot drop box to the Secretary of State’s Office so that we can work with them to follow up.”

Voters have the right to:

  • Access official ballot drop boxes and election offices without interference.
  • Keep their votes private.
  • Vote without intimidation or threats. 

“Lane County Elections has been communicating with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that we are ready to be good partners in ensuring that voter intimidation is not permitted here,” said Dawson. “No one has the right to ask you how you voted, how you intend to vote, or ask to examine your ballot at an official drop box.”

Examples of voter intimidation include:

  • Aggressive or harassing questions about whether you are qualified to vote intended to interfere with your right to vote, scare you into voting a certain way or to intimidate you for voting, such as questions about your citizenship status, criminal record, residency, other personal information, or questions about how you intend to vote.
  • False or misleading statements or accusations about voter fraud or related criminal penalties, designed to frighten you away from voting.
  • Verbal or physical threats – express or implied – meant to stop you from voting or to force you to vote for a particular candidate or measure.
  • Purposefully obstructing or interfering with your ability to vote.
  • Targeted surveillance of particular voters or groups of voters, such as following or tracking voters, copying license plates, taking videos or photos, etc., with the intent to dissuade or obstruct them from voting.

Lane County Elections also recommends all voters return their ballots through an official channel (directly to the Elections Office, via USPS, or at one of the official drop boxes. County Elections does not send people door to door to collect ballots or establish non-official drop boxes. 

​​​The Elections Division is committed to providing voters with accurate information about elections in Oregon. Always use trusted information from an official source. 

Oregon has a proud tradition of open, accessible and fair elections, with a modern vote-by-mail system that is the gold standard in U.S. elections administration. ​

2022 State and County General Election Voters’ Pamphlets

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Oregon Secretary of State and County Elections Officials provide voters’ pamphlets to guide voters in each election. Included in these pamphlets are election deadlines, voter registration information, your rights as an Oregon voter, candidate statements, ballot measures, and other useful information.​

The Secretary is committed to serving limited English proficient Oregonians by providing translated portions of state and county voters’ pamphlets. The English State Voters’ Pamphlet is available online, and also in audio format​. Cou​nty voters’ pamphlets are available on county webpages. An Easy Voting Guide produced by Disability Rights Oregon​ is available for people with disabilities.

Oregon Drop Box Locator https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/drop-box-locator.aspx

​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Start by entering your full residence address, including zip code,​ to locate official ballot drop sites nearby. Select the option that is the closest match and continue to view the sites. ​
Ballots must be received or mailed with a valid postmark by 8 p.m.​ on Election Night, November 8, 2022.

Print version of Official Oregon County Ballot Drop Sites​

For more information about local elections, including drop box locations for your county, contact your County Elections Official​​. ​

Voters who believe their rights have been violated should contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 503-986-1518 or elections.sos@sos.oregon.gov

Voting in Oregon feels GOOD

It’s time to get #VoteReady: Just grab your ballot and a blue or black pen!☑️ You don’t even need a stamp☑️ It’s not a test: you can vote on every candidate and measure, or leave some blank☑️ How you vote is private. Make a plan to vote! http://OregonVotes.gov#TrustedInfo2022

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