How to vote in Jackson County if your home burned
Fire victims in Jackson County can still get ballots for the November election even if they’re living at a temporary residence — and even if they’re living in a tent.
“We’re trying to get the word out,” Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker said. “A lot of people have been coming into our office starting last week, after the fire.”
Walker said Jackson County Elections has received numerous calls, emails and in-person inquiries about how to receive a ballot.
There are a number of different options for people to get a ballot if they have been displaced by the fires, and Walker’s office has been sending out public service announcements, social media alerts and other notices.
The easiest option if you have a temporary address where you’re receiving mail, including a P.O. Box, is to add the mailing address at www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote.
You can have the ballot sent to a family or friend’s address.
Voters can also head down to Jackson County Elections at 1101 W. Main St., Suite 201, Medford.
For those with no access to the internet, they can obtain a paper voter registration form at other local offices, such as United States Post Office locations, Oregon DMV, libraries, city halls and the Jackson County Clerk’s office or online at https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL500.pdf.
If voters move after updating their mailing address, they can correct it again as needed.
If voters are living out of state or in another area, they can request an absentee ballot at https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL111.pdf.
Walker said she has received lots of updates and help from the United States Postal Service. The USPS received criticism recently after cutbacks were announced three months prior to the November election.
Ballots that are sent out in the mail can be sent back to Jackson County Elections without having to add a stamp to the envelope.
Voter interest appears to be high for this election, with Walker estimating turnout at 80% or more.
The county has also set a new record for voter registration, surpassing the numbers in 2016 and 2018.
Total registration is 158,644 this election versus 153,909 in 2018 and 143,301 in the presidential election in 2016.
Walker said the high numbers reflect the increases from the automatic voter registration that started in 2016 as well as heightened interest in a presidential election.
In Jackson County, the non-affiliates, or those who don’t belong to any political party, have surpassed the registration for either the Democratic or Republican parties.
For the current election, non-affiliated voters number 51,593, Republicans are at 49,801 and Democrats make up 46,341. Other parties make up the remainder of the voters.
Voters can call Jackson County Elections at 541-774-6148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Walker suggests contacting her office on or after Oct. 5 concerning additional options available to you for obtaining a ballot.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email@example.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.