Resolving issues with challenged ballots a part of every election to assure accuracy, integrity

November 12, 2020

As of today, November 12, 2020, Multnomah County Elections has accepted and counted 465,555 ballots from voters for the November 3, 2020 General Election.  

We have received numerous reports of text messages that have been sent to voters who are registered as Republicans suggesting that thousands of votes will not be counted.

That is not true. There are currently 3,032 ballots in Multnomah County that have been challenged for this election because of signature issues. 

Resolving the issues with challenged ballots is a normal step in every election and one that ensures every possible vote can be counted. The ballots are challenged by elections workers because:

  • The signature on the return ballot envelope does not match the signature on the voter’s registration record.

  • The voter did not sign the ballot return envelope.

As part of the challenge process, Multnomah County Elections sends a written letter to every voter with a challenged ballot to ensure the voter can resolve any question about their ballot and keep our elections fair and accurate. Additionally, voters with a challenged ballot who are signed up for ballot tracking have received a text message, email or phone call to let them know there is a problem with their ballot that requires followup.

Last week Multnomah County Elections mailed these letters to all voters whose ballots were challenged in the November 3, 2020 General Election. This letter gives voters a way to verify their vote; either by signing a voter registration card to mail back with an updated signature or with a certified voter statement that is signed and returned to us so that the challenged ballot can be counted. This is a standard step in every election.

Voters who have received a challenged ballot letter must return their signed form by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (14 days after Election Day) so that we can cure and count their ballot. Voters should follow the instructions in the letter and can mail or deliver the signed form to us at 1040 SE Morrison St., Portland, Oregon 97214. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Voters who have questions can contact us at 503-988-VOTE (8683).

Campaigns and candidates can request a list of voters who have challenged ballots. As allowed by state law, we began providing those lists on November 11, 2020, upon request. Final certification of election results will occur by November 23, 2020.  

The text messages reported to us were sent from a non-working number and appear to have only been sent to voters registered as Republicans. We ask that anyone with questions about any part of this process contact the Elections Office at:

Main office:

Multnomah County Duniway-Lovejoy Elections Building

1040 SE Morrison Street, Portland OR 97214

Phone: 503-988-VOTE (8683)