Voting Instructions for Military and Overseas Voters

Access, Mark, Review, Print and Return an Alternate Format Ballot

​There are three steps:

  1. Download and print your required military and overseas ballot return forms.
  2. View and mark your ballot.
  3. Return your ballot summary page.

Please read through the instructions completely before marking your ballot.

Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Web browsers are compatible with the voting software. The browsers are free to download. For best results, make sure your browser is updated​. JavaScript must be enabled in your Web browser settings to access the ballot.

Step 1: Download​ and Print Your Required Military and Overseas Ballot Return Forms

  1. Go to the My Vote.
  2. Enter your first name, last name and date of birth.
  3. Click the “Submit” button.
  4. Select “Download and Print Your Required Military Ballot Return Forms.”

This will allow you to print two forms:

  • A ballot return envelope that you must return with your marked ballot summary page, even if you return it by fax or email.
  • If you return your ballot summary page by fax or email you must also return a secret ballot waiver form (SEL 531).

Step 2: View and Mark Your Ballot

There are two ways to view the ballot: Full-view mode, as one long page; or by one race/measure at a time. You can move between views by clicking “View one race at a time” or “View full ballot” buttons.

Move around the ballot using the scroll bar on the right side of the page, or by pressing the tab key on your keyboard. (iPad users refer to additional information at right.)

Voting for a candidate/ballot measure:

  • Select the check box next to your choice by clicking it with your mouse. If using a touch screen, touch your choice with your finger. If navigating with the tab key, select your choice with the space bar. To change your selection, first deselect the box with your initial choice, then make a new selection.
  • If you don’t wish to vote for a choice, leave the check box empty. You aren’t required to vote in every contest.

Writing in a candidate:

  • You may vote for a candidate whose name does not appear on the ballot. Select the check box next to “Write-In” and type your candidate’s name in the text box.
  • If you change your mind, you may type a different name in the text box, or deselect the check box next to your write-in candidate’s name and make a different selection.

Reviewing the ballot:

  • If you’re voting one race at a time, you may select “Check for Voting Mistakes” at the end of a contest, to ensure your vote will be counted.
  • If you’re voting in full ballot view you may select “Check Ballot for Mistakes” at the end of the ballot, to ensure your vote will be counted.
  • If you chose to not vote for a particular contest, it’s called “undervoting .” An alert message will display letting you know you have undervoted. You aren’t required to vote in every contest. Your votes for other contests will still be counted. Click “OK” or press your keyboard space bar to remove the alert message.
  • If you voted for more candidates than allowed, or you voted both yes and no to a ballot measure or recall election, it’s called “overvoting.” If you overvote, an alert message will display. An overvote will result in your vote not being counted for that contest. Votes for other contests will still be counted.
  • If you wish to change any of your selections, select “Go to beginning of ballot.” You can then mark any contest differently.
  • When you’re done marking your ballot, click the “Show your ballot summary page” button.
  • After you review your ballot summary, you may return to your ballot to make any necessary changes.
  • To print your ballot summary and return it to your county elections office, click the “Print your ballot summary” button or use your Web browser’s print function.

​Step 3: Return Your Ballot (pick one)

After printing your marked ballot summary:
  1. Assemble the return identification envelope you printed in Step 1.
  2. Enclose your ballot in the return identification envelope.
  3. Sign the ballot declaration where indicated on your return identification envelope.
To use the prepaid postage envelope, you must mail the envelope at a U.S. Postal Service post office, an overseas U.S. military post office, an American Embassy or an American Consulate. Otherwise you will have to affix enough postage for a foreign mail carrier to deliver the envelope to the U.S. Postal Service.

For your vote to count, your ballot must be received by your county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks don’t count.
After printing your marked ballot summary:
  1. Sign the return identification envelope you printed in Step 1. (You do not need to assemble it).
  2. Complete and sign the SEL 531 form​, which was also printed in Step 1.
  3. Fax or email the following three items to your county elections office:
  4. your voted ballot
  5. your signed return identification envelope
  6. completed and signed SEL 531 form
The fax number and email address for your county elections office should be listed on the top of your SEL 531.

Returning by Fax or Email

Oregon Law only allows two groups of voters to fax or email their ballots:
  • Uniformed Service members and
  • U.S. citizens outside the United States
By returning your voted ballot by fax or email, you acknowledge that you have waived your right to a secret ballot.

If you return your ballot summary by fax you do not need to return the paper ballot issued to you by your county.

For your vote to count, your ballot must be received by your county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
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​​Tracking Your Ballot

Want to know if your ballot was received by your county elections office? 


Notes for iPad Users
  • The Alternate Form Ballot is compatible with Safari for iOS.
  • If your iPad uses an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, which has no tab key, pressing the up and down arrow keys simultaneously functions as a tab key
  • If you’re using the VoiceOver screen reader on an iPad, swiping your finger to the right moves down the ballot; swiping to the left moves up. Double-clicking the screen makes a selection.