A new law in Oregon known as the “postmark rule” says that any ballot postmarked by Election Day is considered on time even if it arrives at elections offices up to 7 days after the election. Voters may put their ballots in the mail as late as Election Day if their mail is collected and postmarked on that day. That means ballots mailed in for the 2022 Primary Election must be postmarked on or before May 17 to be counted.
The new law will mean that the total number of votes cast in the election will increase in the days following Election Day. These are not “late” votes. Every vote tallied by elections officials will have been cast on time. The new law could mean that very close contests will not be decided on election night. The State Legislature passed the postmark rule into law in 2021.