Returning Mail Ballots in Oregon and Washington

In Oregon and Washington, mail ballots are sent to all registered voters. In the November 2014 election, a large percentage of voters returned their ballots to an official election location, such as a drop box, polling place, or county election office, rather than by mail. 

According to data from the 2014 Survey of the Performance of American Elections, which polled 1,000 people in each state, 56 percent of Oregon voters and slightly less than 40 percent of Washington voters submitted their ballots in person. 

A previous dispatch discussed the 2014 midterm election in Colorado, the first general election in which the state sent mail ballots to every registered voter. Data from Denver County showed that more than 70 percent of voters opted to return the ballots in person to a designated drop-off location. 

Nationally, and even in states that allow very limited amounts of mail voting, more than 1 in 4 mail ballots were dropped off at an official location, according to the survey. Pew will continue to provide analysis on the survey’s findings in the coming months, including a further exploration of why many mail voters choose to return their ballots in person. 

Follow us on Twitter using #electiondata and get the latest data dispatches, research, and news by subscribing today.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.