Jackson County urges voters to not use ballot delivery services

A Jackson County voter turns in his ballot at the 24-hour official dropbox in Medford. The Jackson County Clerk only endorses official dropboxes for where ballots should be placed. (KTVL/Mike Marut)

Jackson County, Ore. - Ballot collectors came to Jackson County resident Chelsea Whitnauer's door on Halloween saying they would turn her ballot in for her.

"They looked trustworthy," Whitnauer said. "They looked like they've done this before."

She did not give them her ballot because she had not filled it out yet. She says even if she had filled it out, she would not have given it to them.

"I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who are trying to get some ballots and destroy them or do whatever to them because it is a big election," Whitnauer said.

The Jackson County Clerk says to only place ballots in official dropboxes around the county even if a ballot collector has proper identification.

"They need to have that ballot box clearly marked as an official ballot dropbox," Chris Walker, the Jackson County Clerk, said. "It's your responsibility to make sure your ballot gets to us and we do not recommend you utilize those unofficial ballot dropboxes or the people offering to pick your ballot up."

At Southern Oregon University, the Oregon Students Association set up an unofficial dropbox for students and staff to place their ballots.

"A lot of college students don't have cars and don't necessarily have stamps either, so it's just a lot more accessible for students to be able to drop off their ballot on campus since they're here everyday," Emily Pfeiffer, director of Governmental Affairs at SOU, said.

SOU's student government collects ballots every day until 4:00 P.M. and delivers the ballots to the official dropbox outside the Ashland library.

Whitnauer says she won't use any unofficial dropbox or ballot collector.

"You just want to make sure they're from somebody that you can trust - which you really don't know," Whitnauer said.

Walker says this happens during every big election, but discourages using unofficial dropboxes or people who deliver ballots on voters' behalf.

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