BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon has seen a major increase in new voters. In fact, according to the Deschutes County Clerk's Office, the county went from about 101,000 registered voters in 2016 to over 150,000 last week, a 50 percent jump in four years.
With so many new voters, NewsChannel 21 decided to visit the Deschutes County Clerk's Office to get some key questions answered
Topping the list of frequently asked questions was ballot tracking -- where voters can go to see if their ballot has been received, County Clerk Nancy Blankenship said.
"They can go to Oregonvotes.gov and under MyVote, they can go in
and see if their ballot has been (received)," she said.
Second, we asked about signatures, specifically what a voter can do about a challenged signature.
Blankenship said her office is looking carefully at the style of individual signatures, making sure the signature looks like it belongs to the voter.
She said for many reasons, the appearance of signatures can change, and anybody who's had their signature change over time should update her office, to get a new signature on file.
"Lots of people come in and say, 'Oh, my signatures never change.' Then we show it to them and compare it to the ballot we have, and you know, there's a significant change."
Blankenship described that signatures have multiple benefits.
"So the signature validates for the voter as well the system. we want to be sure that the ballot came from the voter"
Lastly comes the question of deadlines: When should we turn these ballots in?
Blankenship said for those looking to safely mail their ballot, to do so by Tuesday Oct. 27 and for those that don't make that deadline, take their vote to one the nine ballot drop sites, some open now and all open by Friday.
Those locations, the state and county Voter's Pamphlet and more are available at: https://www.deschutes.org/clerk/page/november-3-2020-general-election