A new external ballot drop box will be installed OUTSIDE the Merrill Auditorium entrance for ballot returns. That change will permit voters to return absentee ballots 24/7 – increasing accessibility for absentee ballot voters who cannot enter Merrill Auditorium during business hours. The city will send out a notice once the drop box has arrived, according to a press release issued late today by city hall.
Furthermore, in-person absentee voting is currently occuring at the city clerk’s temporary office space in Merrill Auditorium lobby via the Myrtle Street entrance. Regular hours are 9:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday.
Additionally, the Clerk’s office will be open until 7:00 pm on Thursdays, October 15 and 22 for absentee ballot returns. Importantly, two Saturdays will be offered on October 17 and 24 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for in-person absentee voting and dropping off absentee ballots plus voter registration.
On October 29, the Office will be open until 7:00 pm for in-person absentee voting, dropping off ballots and registering to vote.
The last day to in-person absentee vote is Friday, October 30. Please wear a face mask when in-person voting. Absentee ballots must be returned by 8:00 pm on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Voters must return absentee ballots via mail or to the Merrill Auditorium ballot box and not to your customary polling place according to the city’s press release.
The press release from the city did not indicate why this expansion of hours and the location of the drop box outside of Merrill Auditorium – an overwhelming number of absentee voters? That is certainly a national trend, but the city of Portland is not giving out any information it does not need to.
The city has so far processed 22,000 absentee ballots which is believed to be a record.