Oregon

Articles about voting issues in Oregon.

Oregon: America’s First Test of Automatic Voter Registration, in Oregon, Has Mixed Results | Governing

Nearly 100,000 Oregonians who otherwise may not have voted cast ballots in the Nov. 8 election after registering to vote in the state’s new automatic voter registration program, Democratic Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said. Nearly 43 percent of voters who registered automatically after visiting a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office voted. That’s a lower rate however, than the 79 percent who registered by mail and through the secretary of state’s website. Many states were eyeing Oregon which was the first to start automatically registering voters in an attempt to encourage more residents to vote. Read More

Oregon: Groups help Oregonians with disabilities to vote | Oregon News Service

More than 800,000 Oregonians are living with a disability, and this week the attention is on making sure they have an opportunity to vote. It’s National Disability Voter Registration Week, and groups including Deaf People United and the Autism Society of Oregon are assisting with voter registration and voting efforts among the disability community. Esther Harlow, voting rights advocate for Disability Rights Oregon, said it’s an important week. “It’s making sure that everyone understands that people with disabilities have a right to vote in Oregon,” she said. “Regardless of whether they have a guardian, regardless of whether they can read their ballots, they still have that right to vote.” Read More

Oregon: Voter Registration surges | The Chronicle

The June data report for the Oregon Motor Voter program shows over 200,000 new records sent to Oregon’s counties for processing since the program took effect on January 1, 2016. Release of the June report coincides with the completion of Phase II, a separate phase of the Oregon Motor Program, in which 145,000 eligible, unregistered Oregonians received OMV cards in the mail giving them the opportunity to become automatically registered voters. Of those, over 120,000 Oregonians will be sent to Oregon’s 36 counties to be processed for voter registration. “It is clear that Oregon Motor Voter is changing the nature of voter registration in Oregon as we know it,” Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins said. “With completion of the second and final phase of implementation for the program, I’m looking forward to Oregon Motor Voter becoming the norm for Oregonians.” Read More

Oregon: State expects to automatically register more than 200,000 new voters ahead of November election | The Oregonian

Oregon is on track to sign up more than 200,000 new voters in the first seven months of the state’s automatic voter registration system, the Secretary of State announced Friday. Most of those voters — approximately 120,000 — will be registered through the second phase of the program, in which the Secretary of State’s office identified eligible voters who visited the DMV in 2014 and 2015. County clerks are now registering those people to vote. Under the first phase of the law, the Secretary of State’s office and county clerks were already registering people who visited the DMV this year on a rolling basis. Read More

Oregon: County judge who blocked refuge occupiers survives recall election | The Tribune

Residents of a remote county in eastern Oregon where an armed group seized a federal wildlife refuge have voted overwhelmingly to keep in office a top local official who had denied the occupiers access to a county building. “I feel so good about the outcome,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty told The Associated Press over the phone from the county courthouse in Burns. “The voters have spoken. What’s important is to move ahead, see where is the common ground … People won’t always agree but we can find what we can work on together.” Grasty had faced the special recall election Tuesday because he refused to let the activists, who said they were protesting federal land-use policies, use a county building to host a meeting. Supporters of the recall say Grasty violated rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.  Read More

Oregon: Switch in ballot procedures has some worried about secrecy | The Oregonian

Ever since Oregon approved voting exclusively by mail in 1998, Hasso Hering took comfort that a sealable “secrecy envelope” would guarantee his right to a private ballot. So when the 72-year-old from Benton County opened his ballot for the May primary, he was confused to see a non-sealable “secrecy sleeve” instead. Benton is among at least five Oregon counties, including Multnomah County, Marion County, Deschutes County and Washington County, to trade sealed envelopes for sleeves in hopes of speeding up ballot counts while still protecting voters’ privacy. But voters such as Hering worry the change could make it easier for elections workers to put a name to a ballot marking. “It is a principle of our ballot,” said Hering, a retired journalist. “How you vote is your business and no one else’s.” Read More

Oregon: Town braces for recall election after standoff | Associated Press

Voters in a rural Oregon town are receiving ballots in the mail for a recall election targeting a judge who opposed the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge earlier this year. Harney County Judge Steve Grasty decided to fight the recall even though he is retiring this year. The recall has stirred passions in Burns, which held the national spotlight for weeks during the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy and others occupied the refuge this winter to protest federal land policy and the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers sent to prison for starting fires. The 41-day standoff ended Feb. 11 and included the fatal shooting by police of rancher and occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. Read More

Oregon: Oregon elections official details ‘motor voter’ impact | KTVZ

Two weeks after a record number of Oregonians voted in the state’s May primary election, the Oregon secretary of state shared data Wednesday on voter turnout and the state’s pioneering Oregon Motor Voter program. “I am encouraged to see these new ‘motor voters,’ many of whom may have never voted before, engage in the democratic process,” said Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins. “We have received positive feedback from many Oregonians and continue to hear praise from national civic organizations and other states that are looking to Oregon as a model for democratic engagement.” According to the most recent analysis by the state Elections Division, 8,135 votes were cast by Oregonians who were registered through the Oregon Motor Voter program. With 43,571 eligible OMV voters, this means 18.7 percent of the OMV-registered voters who were eligible to vote on May 17th (registered by April 26th) participated in the primary election. Read the full report here. Read More

Oregon: Portland tech firm Galois spins out new company to make elections more secure | Portland Business Journal

Portland computer science research and development firm Galois is taking aim at election security with its latest spin-off, Free & Fair. The new wholly-owned subsidiary is run by elections security researcher Joseph Kiniry, who two years ago illustrated how easy it is to hack vote-by-email systems, and is based on technology developed by Galois. To start, Free & Fair has three products:

  • A tabulator, which is a secure and verifiable ballot scanning system.
  • The ePollbook, which is a scalable and secure electronic poll book for precincts and county voting centers.
  • A supervised voting system, which is a complete polling place system based on the STAR-Vote project. That project is a collaboration between academia and Travis County (Austin), Texas to create a secure, reliable and auditable voting system.

Read More

Oregon: Automatic Voter Registration in Oregon Is Revolutionizing American Democracy | The Nation

Oregon’s presidential primary is tomorrow, but the bigger story is how many new voters there are in the state. More than 100,000 new voters have registered so far in 2016, over half through the state’s new automatic voter registration system. The 51,558 voters signed up through automatic registration is an average of 12,889 new voters per month, three times higher than the average of 4,163 monthly registrants in 2012. “It looks like it’s going to be a big success,” says Nikki Fisher, executive director of The Bus Project, which helped conceive of the program. The number of voters registered has been higher than initial projections and half of new registrants are under 35. “All indications are that new people are being brought into the system,” Fisher says. This year Oregon became the first state to automatically register eligible citizens who request or renew a driver’s license through the DMV. They are sent a card informing them of their registration status and have 21 days to opt out from the voting rolls. The burden of registration shifts from the individual to the state. Read More