Voting: No do-overs and no write-in tally
Editor's note: Two voting-related questions have landed in our in-box in recent days. Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker, who oversees elections in the county, took time out from guarding against Russian hackers to help us out with both.
I've already cast my ballot, but now I'd like to change my vote in one of the races. Can I get my ballot back or get it thrown out and issued a new one?
— Jim, by email
Sorry, Jim, but the answer is no. Walker says there are some states that do have provisions for re-voting, but Oregon isn't one of them. Once you've cast your ballot — mailed it, dropped it in a drop box or handed it to an elections worker — the deed is done and there's no going back.
Does the county and/or Secretary of State's Office tally and publish the results of the write-in votes? I think that this year there might be an interest in who we wish we could vote for.
— Terri M., Talent
Well, Terri, there had better be a whole lot of interest — and votes — if you want to see a tally of any of the write-in votes. That's because, again by state rule, write-in votes are not specifically tallied unless the number of write-in votes equals or exceeds the total of votes received by the winning candidate. The number of write-in votes cast is listed on the countywide results, but totals are not given for each person receiving a vote or votes.
Walker noted that in several cases in the May primary, votes for specific people were listed, but only in cases in which there were no candidates listed for the office for which the write-ins were cast. There are no races in the general election lacking candidates on the ballot.
So, unless someone wants to file a public records request and cover the cost of tallying all the write-in votes, you'll just have to be content in assuming they went to your favorite candidate — although don't forget that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck may also be strong contenders this year.
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