MEDFORD, Ore. — More than 30% of registered voters have already turned in their ballot in Jackson County, and those ballots have already been counted. No results will be released until election night, but the process is ongoing until then.
A steady stream of voters dropped off their ballots before Tuesday’s deadline.
“We’re going to drop our ballots off and beat the rush, and maybe it will take care of some of these political phone calls we’ve been swamped with today,” said voter Art Nichols as he and his wife turned in their ballots.
More than a quarter of all registered voters have already dropped off their ballot, and beginning on Friday, they began to be tabulated. Before the ballots move to the machine, they must first have their signatures verified, be sorted, and reviewed by a mixed-party election board, who look for any stray marks.
“We have to actually inspect these to make sure that the intent of the voter is upheld in the process,” said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.
From there, ballots head over to a room where they are tabulated. Walker said not every county gets to tabulate early, and her office had to be approved by the secretary of state based on their security plan.
“Security measures are in place to ensure that none of those results get out until that first release eight o’clock election night,” said Walker.
Among the security features are motion sensing cameras fixed on the tabulating machines.
“The Help America Vote Act, paid for cameras to be inside that room, watching, basically, those four tabulators that we have,” said Walker.
Back out at the drop box, Nichols said Oregon’s vote by mail system is their choice for having their voices heard.
“We’d rather do it this way. We’d rather just drop it off,” said Nicho