Oregon 2022 primary election basics: Deadlines, ballot help and where to drop ballots

There's not a presidential election in 2022, but voters still have plenty to turn out for, from city hall to the Oregon Capitol to Congress, this year.

First there's the primary election on May 17, when voters will select party nominees for partisan offices and help narrow the field for nonpartisan seats. The primary election will decide who is running in the general election on Nov. 8.

About the ballots

Primary election day is May 17, and ballots have been mailed out. But there are few changes this year.

For voters who have submitted their ballots for the May 17 election and are curious about where it is in the process of being counted, there are a couple of ways to check.

Voters in any county can visit the Oregon Secretary of State's Office website at oregonvotes.gov and click on the My Vote tab to check the status of their ballot. It will state whether a ballot has been mailed out to the voter and, once filled out and returned, if the appropriate county elections office has received it.

By rule, all ballots must be put into the mail to voters by May 3. If you are registered to vote and have not received your ballot yet, contact your county elections office.

Candidate profiles:Who are the candidates for Oregon governor, Legislature, Lane County?

Signature confirmation

The Secretary of State website does not confirm whether ballots are "accepted," just whether they have been received. If there is an issue with signature confirmation, voters may not know until they receive a letter from their county elections office asking them to "cure" the discrepancy.

Curing requires voters to submit a signature that officials can match with the signature on the ballot.

Voters have up to 14 days after Election Day on May 17 to cure their signature and have their vote counted. Final election results are not certified and released until 30 days after the election.

What's a closed primary?

Both major parties in Oregon — Republicans and Democrats — are holding closed primaries, which means only people registered as a member of the party can vote for their candidates. The winners go on to face each other in the General Election in November.

Nonaffiliated voters in Oregon are not allowed to vote in Republican or Democratic primaries — including the races for governor, U.S. Congress at the state Legislature — but will be able to vote in many nonpartisan races. These races include the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, judgeships, district attorneys, city councilors and mayors. Nonaffiliated voters will also be able to vote on various ballot measures.

When are ballots due?

Primary election day this year is Tuesday, May 17.

In the past, ballots needed to have arrived at county elections offices by 8 p.m. on election day to be counted. However, this year ballots simply need to be postmarked by election day and then can be received up to seven days after election day to be considered valid.

This change is due to a law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2021.

Proponents of the change say it will allow for more Oregonians to have their votes counted.

Katie Petersen votes over her daughter Lilyanah Sutton at the Lane County Elections drop box on in November 2020 in Eugene.
Katie Petersen votes over her daughter Lilyanah Sutton at the Lane County Elections drop box on in November 2020 in Eugene.

How do I submit my ballot?

Ballots can be mailed to county elections offices no later than May 17, or they can be deposited in dropboxes. Since 2020, ballots can be mailed without paid postage.

Where are dropboxes in Lane County?

Drop box locations are found on the Oregon Secretary of State website. Voters may drop off their ballots at one of many official drop box locations listed in the insert included with their ballot. Drop boxes will remain open until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drop boxes in Lane County can found at the following locations:


  • Coburg City Hall, 91136 N. Willamette St.

Cottage Grove

  • Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs Ave.


  • City of Creswell, north side of parking lot at corner of South First and C Street.


  • Amazon Pool, 2600 Hilyard St.

  • Bethel Library, 1990 Echo Hollow Road

  • Juvenile Justice Center, 2727 MLK Jr. Blvd.

  • Lane County Elections Office, 275 W. 10th Ave.

  • Lane County Public Works, 3050 N. Delta Highway

  • Pearl Street, 777 Pearl St.

  • River Road Park and Recreation, 1400 Lake Drive

  • Sheldon Library, 1566 Coburg Road

  • University of Oregon, Erb Memorial Union, 1395 University St.

  • Wal-Mart, 4550 W. 11th Ave.


  • Florence Police Department, 900 Greenwood St.

Junction City

  • Junction City Library, 726 Greenwood St.


  • Lowell City Hall, 107 E. Third St.


  • Oakridge Police Department, 76435 Ash St.


  • Mowhawk Marketplace, 2260 Marcola Road, on island in parking lot

  • Splash! At Lively Park, 6100 Thurston Road

  • Springfield City Hall, outside 24 hour drop box enter off A Street, located at north end of covered parking, past library book drop


  • Veneta City Hall, 88184 Eighth St., outside 24 hour drop box on island in parking lot

Election workers count ballots inside of a secure room in the Lane County Election building in Eugene.
Election workers count ballots inside of a secure room in the Lane County Election building in Eugene.

When will we know the election results?

Results will begin to be released shortly after 8 p.m. May 17. But elections officials caution that vote counts will likely rise more after election day than in past years due to valid ballots arriving at counting locations up to seven days after the election.

Since this is the first year with the new deadline, it is unclear how many votes will arrive after election day.

Some races could remain too close to call until the final ballots are counted in the days after election day.

Can I still register to vote or change my voter registration?

No. Voters in Oregon had until April 26 to register to vote or change their registration in time for that to be reflected in the primary.

If a nonaffiliated voter wants to vote in a closed primary for a particular party, they must change their registration to that party.

Information about the process for registering to vote can be found on the Oregon Secretary of State website at sos.oregon.gov/voting. There you can register to vote online or find a voter registration form that can be downloaded and mailed in. You can also call the office at 503-986-1518.

When will ballots arrive?

Oregon is an exclusively vote-by-mail state, meaning there are no polling places for voters to visit on or before election day. All ballots are mailed to registered voters, whether in the state or living abroad.

Ballots will be mailed starting April 27 and election officials must send all ballots by end of day May 3.

Ballots should arrive to all Oregon homes within the next week. If your ballot has not arrived by then, contact the Lane County Elections office, 275 W. 10th Ave. or call 541-682-4234.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon primary election 2022: Deadlines, ballot information