As the commercials and billboards become more frequent, it's easy to see that election season is here. For Crook County residents, the deadlines are drawing near for citizens to register and decide which party to vote for.
>Registration deadline is April 29; ballots mailed out May 2
"If you are a first time person in Oregon, the last day to register to vote is April 29," Crook County Chief Deputy Election Manager Trisha Shrum said. "It's also the last time they can change their party."
While citizens who are already registered with the Republican or Democratic parties will receive their party specific ballot, those who wish to change or specify their affiliation need to do so soon.
"A lot of people are registered nonpartisan and they might decide that they want to vote for a Democrat or Republican," Shrum continued. "To do that in a primary they have to register because it's a nominating election. Each party is nominating who they want to be on the ballot in November."
For the Crook County residents who have recently moved to the area from other counties within the state, the registration deadline is May 20.
"If they are registered in another county, we can update them through Election Day," Shrum added. "That would be considered an update, but they couldn't change their party after April 29."
As the Crook County Clerk's Office mails out more than 11,500 ballots on May 2, there will be multiple decisions to be made on federal, state and county levels.
Voters in the Republican and Democratic parties will have the opportunity to cast their opinions for the presidential nomination, with all parties voting on a variety of positions and measures, including nonpartisan.
"Democrats will have Democrat nominees to vote on and the Republicans will have Republican nominees," Shrum said. "Nonpartisan will have just the nonpartisan offices. Of course, we're going to be voting on a presidential nominee, a U.S. Senator, a U.S. Representative, our county commissioner and county judge. We have a measure for our county too - whether or not to have destination resorts. State measures will be on the ballot too."
While the May primary helps make decisions for the November ballot, in a couple of instances, the primary vote will elect a person to a local position.
"There are some nonpartisan positions that can be elected in a primary," Shrum said. "The district attorney will be elected in May, as well as the county surveyor, since he's the only one running. The judges that are on the nonpartisan ballot will also be elected in May. Everybody else - whoever wins the nomination will be on the November ballot."
Shrum continued to recommend that Crook County citizens register soon to help make the decisions that will affect the general election in November. The May ballots will be mailed out on Friday, May 2, and need to be returned by 8 p.m., on Tuesday, May 2.