A 24-hour ballot drop site at the Banks Public Library. Photo: Chas Hundley
Time is running out for those wishing to vote in this year's election, a small affair for Washington County voters, many of whom will not receive a ballot due to a lack of items to vote on in many jurisdictions.
The exceptions are in Banks; the sprawling Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue service territory; and the portion of Lake Oswego that falls within the county.
Should local residents renew and increase an expiring levy that pays for police services in Banks?
That question will come as measure 34-306; on the ballot for those within Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s district, which includes portions of Roy and Mountaindale, is measure 34-308. Voters in the sliver of Lake Oswego that lies in Washington County will also see several measures relating to that city’s parks system.
The election closes at 8 p.m. Nov. 2; ballot drop box sites are scattered throughout the county. In Banks, a 24-hour drop site is located at the Banks Public Library near the main entrance; elsewhere in nearby towns, a drop box is located on Pacific Avenue in front of the Forest Grove City Library;, and in North Plains at City Hall on Commercial Street. Other locations can be found by visiting the county elections division website.
Those using Oregon’s vote-by-mail system should note that it is too late to mail a ballot. A recent law passed by the Oregon Legislature to allow ballots to be counted if they are postmarked by the date of the election has not yet become effective.
After January 1, 2022, House Bill 3291 will go into effect, meaning that ballots postmarked by the date of the election will be accepted up to seven days after the election, a similar system at least 20 other states already use, according to a list maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Unofficial early results of the election are generally posted online shortly after the election closes; this newspaper will also be publishing early results on the Banks levy and the TVF&R bond.
The next election to be held more widely will be the May 17 Primary Election, which will see a number of primary elections take place for legislative, gubernatorial, congressional, and judicial positions. Several county positions are up for election, including those of Washington County Chair, and several commissioner positions, including Washington County Board of Commissioners Position 4, the district encompassing Gales Creek, Timber, Banks, Buxton, and more. Incumbent Jerry Willey has filed for reelection to his seat. Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington has filed to run again for her seat at the top of the county’s political leadership.