Common Cause Oregon Reminds Voters “Election Night is not Results Night”

Election officials expect over two million ballots to count if 2020 turnout numbers hold 

Portland, OR — Oregon voters have until 8 p.m. tomorrow night to cast their ballot at an official drop site or by mailing in their ballot, as long as it’s postmarked on Election Day. As these last ballots are cast, Common Cause Oregon reminds voters that it may take days for election officials to finalize results.  

“Oregonians won’t get all the results on election night,” said Kate Titus, executive director of Common Cause Oregon. “Just like every other election, we’ll see some races that are easy to predict early, and some so close that we need to wait until all votes are counted.”

What’s different this election is a new Oregon law known as the “postmark rule,” which ensures that every ballot cast on time gets counted. It allows election officials to count all ballots postmarked by Election Day, even if they arrive at the elections office up to 7 days later. This means election results may take longer to complete than in previous years.

“Whether it’s a landslide race that’s easy to predict early or a close race that remains unknown until all votes are counted, we’ve got to make sure we count every vote,” said Titus. “In Oregon, we work to ensure every eligible voter has a chance to vote.”

Oregon is one of 38 states that permit election workers to begin processing ballots before Election Day. This helps election workers process the count more quickly, but they won’t have a final count until all votes are in.  

Common Cause Oregon reminds voters who haven’t voted that they can learn about candidates, ballot measures, and voting rules in the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet, return their ballot by mail as long as it’s postmarked by Election Day, or use an official ballot drop site by 8 PM Election Day. Anyone who lost their ballot can visit their county elections office for help getting a replacement. Voters should also remember to sign their ballots on the back of the envelope.

“Unfortunately, some voters will be exposed to election disinformation,” said Titus. “It’s important that we don’t get taken in by false narratives meant to erode faith in our vote and our democracy. Those who vote decide the future for those who don’t” 

In 2020, 82% of Oregon voters turned out to vote, with over two million ballots cast. If voter turnout levels hold, Oregon can expect to see similar numbers again in this year’s midterm election.

To find 2022 Oregon election results, click here.  

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