Secretary of State Kate Brown says Oregon isn’t quite ready for online voting. But it will be soon enough. She even has a year in mind. “I believe by 2020 there will be electronic voting,” Brown said Thursday at Riverwood Assisted Living Center in Tualatin, where she met with Washington County election workers to help elderly voters cast their ballots. Already there are signs that Oregon, the first state to embrace mail-only voting, is starting to move away from paper. The secretary of state’s office has been dipping its toes into Internet voting technology, although Brown acknowledges advances would be necessary — both in cyber security and voter confidence — for a fully-fledged electronic system to work. Brown acknowledged she has some security concerns about a completely computerized system, however. The paper trail left by mail-in ballots is more transparent and leaves an easy way for county clerks to conduct a recount if necessary, she said. Voters can even go see the ballots counted in person.
Right now, technology isn’t advanced enough to leave a similar type of record.
The elderly voters at the assisted living center weren’t too eager to jump at the fancy new voting technology. No one used the Microsoft tablet during Brown’s hour-long visit, opting instead to have special election workers from Washington County help them.