A ballot drop box at the Forest Grove City Library. Photo: Chas Hundley

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Dozens of contenders have thrown their hat into the ring to lead, represent, and hold positions of authority in local school and fire boards that will define where the tax dollars of voters go to provide fire and emergency services, education and more.

Decisions made by those elected on May 21 may have impacts for generations to come, and can range from the small and mundane—ceremonial proclamations, for example—up to severely consequential, such as the shuttering of a school, or the decision to build a new one.

But in Washington County, the last time special district elections were held, just 21.6% of eligible voters opted to turn in a ballot, according to voter data from the Washington County elections office.

This year, the deadline to ensure you are registered to vote is April 30.

You can check if you are registered, make changes such as a new address, or submit a registration online by visiting the Oregon Secretary of State website.

You can also fill out this paper version and mail it in (it must be received no later than April 30) or drop it off at the elections office at:

3700 SW Murray Blvd, Suite 10, Beaverton, OR 97005

This election cycle, a number of elections will be held for local school boards and local measures; we’re tracking races that Banks, Buxton, Manning and Timber residents will see on their ballot; highly competitive races for Mountaindale and Roy-area folks; and options for our Gales Creek, Glenwood, and Hillside readers.

Watch the Banks Post and Gales Creek Journal for interviews and analysis of measures and candidates in the coming weeks leading up to the May 21 election.

Local voters will start receiving ballots on or around May 1. The first day to mail ballots—with a stamp you must buy and affix to the envelope yourself—starts May 1, and you should generally mail them sooner rather than later the closer you get to election day. In Oregon, your ballot must be received by May 21 - postmarks do not count.

Ballot drop boxes will be located at the Banks Public Library, the Forest Grove City Library, and in other locations throughout the county.

The state of Oregon and Washington County provide a number of elections resources, including information in Spanish, information on how to vote by mail, how to fill out your ballot, and the voter bill of rights.