Allegations of ballot fraud by a Clackamas County election worker may lead to some immediate steps to make Oregon’s voting system more secure — as well as pressure for additional legislative changes. But, so far at least, the allegations don’t appear to cast a shadow over Oregon’s pioneering system of voting by mail. Local and national experts say this kind of fraud could occur in any state. Doug Lewis, executive director of the National Association of Election Officials, said that a rogue election worker could attempt the same kind of fraud in any jurisdiction that uses paper ballots – which at a minimum are used by absentee voters everywhere.
“If you set up your procedures correctly…it’s more difficult than people think to mal-appropriate votes,” said Lewis. “It’s your procedures that save you or do you in.”
And it is those boring, by-the-book procedures that are receiving heavy scrutiny in Clackamas County after Deanna Swenson, 55, was accused of altering ballots as a temporary election worker.
Secretary of State Kate Brown said Friday that the Justice Department is continuing to investigate the case and that she expects an indictment “within the next two or three weeks.” She also said it’s possible more than one person will be indicted.