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How To Mark Your Ballot

Understanding how to correctly mark your printed ballot is very important to make sure your vote counts.

To ensure your vote counts

  • Use a blue or black ink pen.
  • Completely fill in the oval to the left of the response of your choice.
Fill in the oval

To write-in a candidate whose name is not on the ballot

  • Fill in the oval to the left of the write-in line for the contest you wish to cast a write-in vote.

  • Write the candidate's first and last name on the write-in line.​​​​

Keep in mind

  • Any abbreviation, misspelling, or minor variation shall be disregarded in determining the validity of the write-in vote as long as the intended candidate can be determined.
  • Writing the last name only will be considered invalid (unless the individual is registered with a single name).
  • ORS 254.505 states "an elector may not place on the ballot a sticker bearing the name of a person or use any other method or device, except writing or using a voting machine, to vote for a person whose name is not printed on the ballot. Any ballot that has a sticker or other device is void and may not be counted."
  • Failure to fill in the oval for the write-in will not invalidate the vote for the candidate.
Filling in the oval and write-in vote

Check your ballot carefully

  • Make sure you have completely filled in the ovals next to your choices.
  • The ballot may have contents printed on front and back.
  • You do not have to vote on all contests. Those you do vote on will still count.
  • You cannot change your vote once you have returned your ballot.

Don't overvote

If you vote for more candidates than allowed, or if you vote both Yes and No on a measure, it is called an overvote. Your vote will not count for that candidate or measure.

If you overvote or make a mistake on your ballot, contact the Elections Office to request a replacement ballot.


Any person who, by use of force or other means, unduly influences an elector to vote in any particular manner or to refrain from voting is subject to a fine. (ORS 254.470)

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