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Displaced fire survivors should update mailing address to get ballots

Jackson County voters drop off ballots for a 2020 election. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch

The Jackson County Elections Office is advising displaced fire survivors to update their mailing address in order to receive vote-by-mail ballots for the May 18 election.

Residents who are temporarily displaced can continue to use the residential address from which they were displaced for voter registration purposes. However, they should update their registration to provide the Jackson County Elections Office with a mailing address where they would like to receive their ballot.

Visit www.oregonvotes.gov to update your registration.

People can also print out a form from sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL500.pdf and mail or hand deliver the completed form to Jackson County Elections, 1101 W. Main St., Suite 201, Medford, OR 97501. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

People who have updated their temporary mailing addresses with the U.S. Postal Service still need to update their address for their voter registration in order to get a ballot. Ballots can’t be forwarded through the mail due to security precautions.

Ballots are scheduled to be mailed April 30.

The Jackson County Elections Office will continue to process voter registration updates and mail ballots through May 13. Anyone who needs to update their registration after May 13 should visit the elections office before 8 p.m. May 18 to update their registration and request a ballot in person.

Voters can still vote on local measures where their permanent addresses are located even if they are living temporarily outside the area.

More than 4,200 Jackson County residents lost their homes in September 2020 because of the Almeda and South Obenchain fires. Many are living with friends and family or in hotels, RVs or trailers.