2012 Election Snapshots
Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.
2012 Election Snapshot—Oregon
Oregon has exclusively used vote-by-mail since 1998. To guide this process, the state developed a lengthy procedures manual for how counties should handle these ballots, including details on verifying the signatures on ballot envelopes.
In the 2012 general election, 13,114 domestic mail ballots were rejected, less than 1 percent of more than 1.8 million ballots cast in the state. Of the rejected ballots, 78 percent were not counted because the signatures were omitted or did not match those on the voters’ most recent registration cards.
Voters have 10 days after an election to resolve such issues. When a ballot envelope is unsigned, county election officials attempt to contact the voter and obtain a signature. When the signatures do not match, the voter is sent a challenge notice and can verify their signature by signing an updated registration card and returning it by mail or in person.