Send a package by FedEx or UPS and you can generally track its progress toward destination. Here's one of the side-benefits of vote-by-mail (or drop box) in Oregon: You can do the same thing with your ballot. Our guess is that a lot of Oregonians probably don't know they can do this.
The way is to hit a site called MyVote, associated with the secretary of state. Fill in your name, birth date and some other identifying information (it's not a long form), and it'll pull up a report on whether you're registered and whether your ballot has been received by the county and state.
Mine says: "Ballot Status: November 2, 2010 General Election Your ballot was received on October 21, 2010."
Might not be a bad idea for Oregonians to run that double-check to make sure they're accounted for.
Not sure, though, how you'd make such a system work as a practical matter in a polling place state, where the bulk of people vote on the same day.