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Postal Service changes mean earlier deadline to mail ballots in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon vote-by-mail system will be affected by plans to cut next-day delivery of first class mail. The US Postal Service announced that change in service Monday.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown says once the new delivery standard takes effect, voters should mail their ballots by the Thursday prior to a Tuesday election, just to be safe.

But Brown says she still wants voters to have enough time to make up their minds. So she says she'll ask lawmakers to approve an earlier date for county elections offices to mail out ballots.

"I think it's really important for Oregonians to have the convenience and the accessibility that's provided by vote-by-mail," Brown says. "And part of that is making sure we have ample opportunity to both review our voters' pamphlet and to review our ballots."

Brown says there are no plans to change Oregon's vote-by-mail system to mirror that of Washington's. There, ballots only need to be postmarked by Election Day to count, so Washington voters won’t be affected by the Postal Service cutbacks. Nor will voters in both states who use drop-boxes.

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Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.