The County Clerk is the chief election official of Columbia County.
The Clerk’s Elections division plans, administers, conducts and certifies all Federal, State, County, City, and Special District elections held within the county.
Columbia County Elections is also responsible for:
- facilitating voter registrations and registration updates
- maintaining the Columbia County portion of the State voter database
- processing Candidate filings
- processing County, City and District referrals
- producing a county level Voter’s pamphlet for the Primary and General Elections
- local County and district level Initiative and Referendum process
- petition processing
- managing political boundaries within the county.
Normally scheduled elections can be held on the:
- Second Tuesday in March
- Third Tuesday in May
- Third Tuesday in September; and
- First Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (ORS 255.345)
Elections in March and September are very rare in Columbia County. There are three elections that are guaranteed to be held every two years. They are:
- The Oregon Primary Election. Held in May of even years, the purpose of the Primary Election is to determine nominations for office at federal, state and local county levels. Major political parties will elect precinct committee persons at this election. Local measures may appear on this ballot also.
- The Oregon General Election. Held in November of even years, the General Election elects candidates into Federal, State, County and City office. Local PUDs have district elections at this time, as does Soil and Water Conservation Districts. State and local measures may also appear on this ballot.
- Special District Election. Held in May of odd years, the Special District election elects Board of directors for local school, fire protection, library, park and recreation, port and 911 Districts. There are nineteen special districts servicing Columbia County that have elections at this election.
The Oregon state legislature or a successful recall petition drive can call for a Special Election at any time regardless of these dates.