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Forgot to mail your ballot? There's hope

Voters can drop off their ballots at three boxes in Newberg, but must do so by Nov. 8

You’ve done your civic duty. You’ve filled out your ballot for the general election, carefully weighing the pros and cons of the various statewide measures and picking candidates in House and Senate races that represent your political views. But the process has taken too long or your dogged determination to see that your ballot reaches the county to be tabulated means you can no longer take advantage of Oregon’s vote-by-mail process.

What’s a voter to do?GARY ALLEN - A ballot drop box has been installed at the west entrance to Jaquith Park on North Main Street to replace one formerly sited at the Chehalem Aquatic Center.

Well, fortunately, there is another way to submit your ballot — by taking advantage of drop boxes sprinkled throughout the county.

In Newberg, the drop boxes are located at the Public Safety Building on Howard and Third streets, at the Newberg center of Portland Community College near the corner of Fernwood Road and Brutscher Street, and at the western entrance to Jaquith Park on North Main Street.

The drop box at Jaquith Park was formerly located at the Chehalem Aquatic Center on Haworth Avenue, but was moved to make way for the multimillion-dollar renovation of the facility over the next two years.

The drop box at the Public Safety Building, according to the Yamhill County Clerk’s Office, has increased in size from year’s past and occurred just in time. Estimates are that the state’s new motor voter law, where residents are automatically registered to vote when they are issued a driver’s license, means that the voter base in Yamhill County has increased by 6,000 to more than 61,000 in the county.

“Aside from the main parking lot at the Yamhill County Courthouse in McMinnville, this location in downtown Newberg is the most widely used in the county,” Brian Van Bergen, county clerk, said in a release.

The general election will be held Nov. 8 and ballots must reach the clerk’s office by that day to be counted. They were mailed out to county voters Oct. 19.

“Even though many of the changes and upgrades we are making to our ballot drop boxes will help voters, provide improved access, and allow us to handle larger volumes … these changes may raise questions or cause confusion,” Van Bergen said. “We understand that and we are committed to assisting our voters as best we can.”

Questions can be directed to Van Bergen’s office via email at elections@co. yamhill.or.us, by calling 1-503-434-7518 or visiting www.co.yamhill.or.us/clerk or www.co.yamhill.or.us/elections.