It’s still several weeks before the November 3rd elections, but already hundreds of Oregon voters are casting their ballots.

Elections offices throughout the state report that many military and overseas voters have already returned their mail-in ballots, about 1,500 in Multnomah County alone.

Multnomah Elections Director Tim Scott explains they mailed those ballots out on September 18th. “Federal law says that all military and overseas voters need to be mailed their ballot 45 days before the election. Oregon of course made sure that we got our military and overseas ballots out on the 18th, so that those could be on their way to folks who live overseas or who are in the military,” Scott said.

He says some people are coming in to cast absentee ballots in person too. “People can also vote absentee in Oregon.  Folks who might be leaving town, and aren’t going to be around for the ballots to be mailed to them.”

He points out that the real crunch time starts next week. “The end of that week we’ll start seeing a high number coming back and so we’ll start doing the sorting and the signature verification processes.”

They won’t open and count the ballots until 7 days before the November 3rd election.

Overseas and military voters make up just a small part of Oregon’s voting population.

The state plans to mail out more than 2 million ballots, starting October 14th.