Lincoln County Clerk Dana Jenkins and his team are gearing up for the November general election. Jenkins wants to reassure the public that all is in readiness to record Lincoln County’s votes. Oregon became the first state in the country to go an exclusively vote-by-mail system more than two decades ago. In a recent newsletter, Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno said the state’s long relationship with the United States Postal Service helps give her confidence that the Oregon vote will go smoothy.
Jenkins has served as Lincoln County Clerk since 1991 and has been in charge for every local election during the mail ballot era. He adds: “We are confident that our ballots will be in the hands of Lincoln County voters by October 16th and 17th.” The county’s mailing service will deliver local ballots to the Portland USPS processing plant on October 14th.
If a voter is planning to return the ballot through the Postal Service, Jenkins recommends mailing it by October 27. Ballots left at drop boxes anytime until 8 p.m. on November 3 will be collected and counted. The USPS has told Clarno’s office that Oregon should have “sufficient time for voters to receive, complete, and return their ballots by the state’s Election Day return deadline.” Under a law passed by the Legislature in 2019, ballots dropped at Post Offices no longer require postage. However, voters continue to have the option of using several ballot drop boxes that the Clerk’s Office maintains during election cycles.
Recently, Jenkins has been refurbishing and placing ballot drop boxes at the Courthouse and around the county. Boxes are available at city halls in the following communities—Lincoln City, Newport, Depoe Bay, Siletz, Waldport and Yachats. Toledo's ballot box is located in the Toledo Police Station parking lot. Additionally, a drop box is offered at Eddyville School on Election Day. All boxes are secured and their contents are picked up by elections staff.
The Secretary of State’s newsletter adds: “If any Oregon voter is concerned about the upcoming election in November, there are multiple steps they can take to ensure their ballot is received in time to be counted. Every ballot envelope has a unique barcode so voters can track their ballot on our My Vote website. We also encourage voters to take advantage of the hundreds of conveniently located drop sites throughout the state to drop off their ballot in person.”
To reach Lincoln County Clerk, Dana W. Jenkins: 541-265-4131
Information provided by Lincoln County PIO Casey Miller