Mover's Guide: Oregon

August 10, 2010

Board of Elections:  503 986-1518

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Oregon from another state, you must register to vote in Oregon to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is twenty-one days before the election, and if you mail in your registration.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you are eligible to vote if you have been in Oregon for at least twenty days immediately preceding the election in which you want to vote.[3]  You do not have to be an Oregon resident for a certain period of time before registering to vote.[4]  But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[5]

I moved within Oregon.

If you moved to a new address within your county, you should notify you county clerk in writing of your address change in order to update your registration records.[6]

If you moved to a new address in a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[7]  You may update your registration any time before 8 p.m. on the day of the election.[8]  You may update your registration online here: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/eim/vr/register.do?lang=eng or download and print the form here: http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/vreg.htm.

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Oregon is a vote by mail state.  Active voters in Oregon will be mailed a ballot.[9]  Active voters who move to a new address can notify their county clerk of their new address up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.[10]  Voters who notify their county clerk of an address change less than 21 days before an election will get a replacement ballot if they have not already returned another ballot.[11]

Voters will get their replacement ballot by mail if they notify their county clerk of their new address by the fifth day before the election.  Voters who notify their county clerk of their new address within five days before the election can pick up their replacement ballot in person from their county clerk until and including the date of the election.[12]

Many registered Oregon voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about their move before Election Day and the election official has not changed their registration.

Scenario One: New Address within the County, Active Voter

If you cast a mail-in ballot in a drop box associated with a locality in which you are not registered the ballot will be forwarded to the appropriate location where it will be counted in full.[13]

Scenario Two: New Address within the State, Active Voter

If you cast a mail-in ballot in any drop box in the state the ballot will be forwarded to the county in which you are registered where it will be counted in full.[14]


[1] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.009 (West 2010).

[2] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.025(1)-(2).

[3] Or. Const. art. II, § 2(1).

[4] See  35 Op. Att’y Gen. Ore. 1149 (1972) (advising that Oregon’s residency requirement is unconstitutional).

[5] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[6] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§  247.290(1)(a),(c); 247.292(1)(a).

[7] See Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.013(2)-(4); 247.012(1),(9) (West 2010).

[8] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.303.

[9] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 254.470(2)(a) (West 2010).

[10] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.303.

[11] See Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 247.025, 247.307(2)-(3).

[12] Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 247.307(3)-(4).

[13] E-mail with Dave Franks, Office of the Oregon Secretary of State (June 16, 2009) (on file with the author).

[14] Id.