While spending most the weekend stationed on my sofa coaching my housemates through their ballots, I was horrified to discover that a good number of my friends weren't voting at all because they hadn't received their ballots in the mail. That's one of the problems with mail-in voting: people who move around a lot (college students, homeless people, The Youth) apparently have some heap of trouble keeping track of where their ballot is slated to arrive.

The day the ballots arrived at my house felt like Christmas. Seven fat ballot envelopes were stuffed through the mail slot... three of them for people who moved out ages ago. This seems to be pretty common among young people in Oregon. Adam, a friend of a friend who sleeps on my sofa sometimes, says that when he lived in the Eugene student co-ops it was typical for a dozen or more ballots to arrive for former residents who since wandered off to permaculture farms or Mexico or wherever. Adam himself wasn't planning to vote because his ballot didn't turn up at the co-ops, his parents house or our house. People assume that since their ballot is missing, they can't vote. WRONG!

During a mildly inebriated conversation this weekend at the Bus Project's Trick or Vote party, I was thrilled to learn that people without ballots who are registered somewhere in Oregon can go down to Multnomah County Elections office (map here), change their address and fill out a ballot right there. Since the elections office was conveniently closed this weekend, I had to call today to soberly confirm and yes! All you need is a drivers' license and the Mercury cheat sheet.

Voter Outreach in North Portland