BEND, OR -- Voters have until midnight Tuesday, April 26 to get registered to vote in the May Primary or update their party affiliation. "Which is a really tricky deadline too, because ballots are mailed out on Wednesday," says Deschutes County Clerk Steve Dennison, "So voters will start to see them later this week. But, by the time voters have their ballots in their hands, it’s already too late to change your party affiliation."
While most eligible Oregonians are already registered, thanks to the state’s “Motor Voter” law, many are listed as “Nonaffiliated.” In Deschutes County, Dennison says more than a third are not registered with a party, "Countywide, we have over 51,000 registered as non-affiliated voters, and then 47,000 Democrats and 44,000 Republicans; and then a handful of minor parties, as well." Dennison says those Nonaffiliated voters won’t get a say in partisan races on May 17 if they don’t update their registration by the deadline, "If a voter wants to see partisan contests and candidates on their ballot, they would need to affiliate with either the Republican or Democrat parties."
He tells KBND News changing your party affiliation is pretty simple, "Updates can be done online. Voters can go to OregonVotes.gov, there’s a section of that website called My Vote. That’s the Oregon Secretary of State’s elections webpage. And you can update your information there, you just need to enter your Oregon Driver License or ID number." Online updates must be done before midnight. You can also update your voter registration card at your local county clerk’s office, library, DMV or post office during business hours.