Be warned if you changed your political party — like thousands of Oregon voters — right before the state’s April 26 deadline. Elections officials say the ballot that hit your mailbox this week is almost certainly the wrong one — full of races from the party you switched from, and not the one you switched to. That’s likely true for anyone who submitted a change after April 13. But don’t fret about losing your chance to vote. Updated ballots, correctly assembled, are already on the way, officials promise. If you haven’t sent back the first one (most Oregonians tend to wait), then all you have to do is sit tight, wait for the replacement and vote before May 17 like you normally would. Even you voted promptly, officials say, fill out the new ballot and send that one in, too. That’s the one they’ll count.
“There’s nothing wrong. It’s OK to have two ballots,” said Molly Woon, spokeswoman for the Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins, saying concerned voters should call their local elections office. “But you won’t get to vote twice.”
Tim Scott, Multnomah County’s elections officer, said it’s the price of being prepared. To make sure 450,000 or so ballots go out on time, county officials start printing and assembling them days before the deadline to make changes.