Time to vote, East Portland

STOP! It’s too late to mail in your ballot for the November 4 election! But, look here to find your nearest ballot box – including a brand new 24-hour location in the Centennial neighborhood …

Located in the Centennial neighborhood, this “drive-up ballot box” is now ready to receive your voting envelope.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It’s true; there’s been a lot of “dirty campaigning” and offensively disdainful commercials run by and for candidates this season. Same goes for many of the measures on the ballot.

Even if you feel like you’re “sick of politics” or that “your vote doesn’t make any difference”, simply marking your ballot – and dropping it off – can affect change both in Washington D.C., and here at home.

But, because all ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4, to be counted – and postmarks don’t count – Multnomah County Elections Division officials advise you, now, to take your ballot personally to one of their secure drop-off sites.

Multnomah County Director of Elections Tim Scott says casting a ballot is now easier in outer East Portland, thanks to this new 24-hour ballot box.

New ballot box comes to outer East Portland
The day that Multnomah County mailed out ballots, October 15, officials gathered in the Centennial neighborhood on SE Division Street to unveil a new secure ballot box that is “open” 24-hours a day.

Officials gathered behind the M & M Self-Service Car Wash, on the north side of SE Division Street at SE 165th Avenue, just west of, and accessible through the Regal Cinemas parking lot.

“This is about a year in the making,” said Multnomah County Director of Elections Tim Scott. “But, it came about because we are able to create a public/private partnership that allowed us to put the ballot box site in their parking lot.”

Scott was soon joined, just out of the rain under a wind-blown canopy, by Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Providing “equitable access to voting” is important to her, says Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

“I’m here because I believe it is important that every person in our county has equitable access to voting,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury told East Portland News.

“We did a study of voting precincts,” Kafoury explained. “We found the people that live near this location had to go all the way to the Gresham Library or the Midland Library to vote.

“So for me, it’s all about fairness and equity,” Kafoury continued. “Now, 44,000 people in this region of Portland will have access to voting close to their homes.”

Multnomah County resident, and Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown says that more Oregonians are dropping off ballots, instead of mailing them in, than ever before.

“As the state’s Chief Election Officer, and as a resident of Multnomah County, I’m really happy to be here today!” exclaimed Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. “As more Oregonians are using drop box sites, I want to make sure that all eligible voters have accessible places to cast their ballots, near their homes.”

With that, Elections Director Tim Scott unlocked the steel box – it looks like a US Post Office mailbox, except it is painted white in color – and deposited his ballot.

The first ballot cast in this box is that of Multnomah County Director of Elections Tim Scott.

Official drop-off sites
If you don’t want to drive all the way over to the Multnomah County Elections Office on the north side of SE Belmont, between SE 10th and 11th Avenue, or south on SE 11th Avenue (on the east, or driver’s side) – then walk, bike or drive to one of two secure ballot drop-off sites in outer East Portland:

  • M & M Car Wash: Located in the west parking lot of Regal Cinemas on SE Division St & SE 165th Avenue.
  • Midland Library: Located in the parking lot at 805 SE 122nd Avenue.


Many voters use this ballot drop off site in the Midland Library parking lot.

East County readers may want to use a ballot box inside one of these libraries (during regular hours):

  • Fairview-Columbia: 1520 NE Village Street, Fairview
  • Gresham: [Also has a 24-hour outdoor drop box] 385 NW Miller Street, Gresham
  • Rockwood: 17917 SE Stark Street


And, East Portland readers will find ballot boxes at these libraries (during regular hours):

  • Belmont: 1038 SE 39th Avenue
  • Gregory Heights: 7921 NE Sandy Boulevard
  • Holgate: 7905 SE Holgate Boulevard
  • Hollywood: 4040 NE Tillamook Street


Ballot drop boxes are official and secure places for voters to deposit ballots for receipt at the Multnomah County Elections Division. Boxes are emptied as needed, and then one last time promptly at 8:00 p.m. on Election Night.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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