Two Oregon counties are offering the opportunity for U.S. military members, their dependents and others living overseas to vote in special elections this November with smartphones, officials announced Wednesday. While some technology experts have warned that such systems could be insecure, the two counties have already advised hundreds of registered voters living overseas about the option to cast ballots using blockchain-based mobile voting. Oregon residents normally vote by mail. Jackson County Clerk Christine Walker expressed confidence in the system and said it will help ensure that the votes of those overseas will be counted. She noted that overseas mail systems can be unreliable and that she was very worried that Washington’s threats to pull the United States from the United Nations’ postal agency would prevent voters overseas from casting ballots. “We need to make sure that our military and overseas voters have the not only ability to vote, but they can easily access their ballots in a safe manner,” Walker said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “There was a potential crisis going on.”Full Article: Two Oregon counties offer vote-by-mobile to overseas voters.
Articles about voting issues in Oregon.
Oregon has an advantage over many other states because voters here decided to go to a vote-by-mail system in 1998, said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker, who oversees local elections. That eliminated the need for voting machines at polling places. “I think we’re one of the leaders in election security,” Walker said of Oregon. The Jackson County Elections Division does have tally equipment to count all those votes that come in by mail. But Walker said the equipment isn’t connected to the internet — a setup that thwarts would-be hackers. Jackson County’s tally equipment is only two years old, she said. “We try to keep up on the technology to make sure the votes are tallied the way the voter intended and to give confide once in the system,” Walker said.Full Article: Hackers Stymied by Vote-by-Mail in Oregon.
Oregon: On Election Day, Oregon Senate passes bill requiring future election audits | Associated Press
County clerks in Oregon would be required to audit results after each election under a bill that overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Election Day. The bill approved Tuesday requires county clerks to conduct hand-count or risk-limiting audits after every primary, general and special election. Risk-limiting audits are based on counts of statistical samples of paper ballots. Sen. Lew Frederick, a Portland Democrat, said the bill ensures more audits happen to make sure election results are correct. The bill requires audits after every election, instead of just general elections. It goes next to the House. Heading into the 2020 cycle, a new report out Tuesday provides a stark warning about the cyber-insecurity of the highest-profile U.S. political organizations even after years of concerted efforts to improve digital safeguards and an intense focus in Washington on the need to secure campaigns and elections.Full Article: On Election Day, Oregon Senate passes bill requiring future election audits;.
Calling the America of the early 20th century a “man’s world” is an understatement. In most of the country, women were not considered full citizens. The march toward women’s suffrage — and the rights that came with it — was slowly moving ahead. But setbacks were common. In Oregon, women found themselves once again shut out of the larger political process. In the fall of 1908, the state’s male electorate dealt the suffragists one of the most resounding blows in their long battle for voting rights. Men overwhelmingly voted against granting suffrage to women. It was the movement’s fourth defeat since 1884. Meanwhile, a young woman in the state’s capital was quietly making political history. On a Saturday morning in February 1909, Carolyn B. Shelton took a seat at the Oregon governor’s desk in Salem. She was the nation’s first female governor.Full Article: The Governor Who Couldn’t Vote: Why America Forgot About Carolyn Shelton . News | OPB.
Oregon’s paper-ballot voting system in the state has never been more accurate or secure, though the number of phishing attempts targeting election officials has increased, the state’s elections director said. Oregon Elections Director Steve Trout said he himself has been hit by a dozen phishing attempts since July. In all of 2017, he had only one or two. Phishing is an attempt to trick people into sharing sensitive information such as passwords and usernames, often by inducing them to click on a bogus link or by pretending to be an entity. The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials advised Trout and others attending a security summit this week that there has been a huge increase in phishing attempts in the nation, targeting elections officials and other critical infrastructure such as energy and banking sectors, Trout told journalists Tuesday.Full Article: Phishing attempts on Oregon election officials increase | Charlotte Observer.
The state office in charge of Oregon’s elections was granted funding from the Legislature for an Internet security position to protect against Russian government interference and hacking by others, officials said Tuesday. While Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, said Tuesday in Washington that the U.S. response to Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns has not been strong enough, Oregon has been taking steps to bolster its cyberdefenses. A letter signed by Oregon Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings asked for $166,348 to cover the cost of the new IT security position, saying “Oregon was one of 21 states targeted by Russian government cyberactivities.”Full Article: Oregon seeks to protect state election system from Russia.
Oregon: Former Oregon Secretary of State Files Elections Complaint Against Current Secretary of State Dennis Richardson | Willamette Week
Former Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins today filed an elections complaint against the man who succeeded her as the state’s top elections officer, the current Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. Atkins is a Democrat and Richardson a Republican. The complaint comes in response to a newsletter Richardson published earlier this week, in which he commented on a scathing audit his audits division did of the Oregon Health Authority, which has been under fire for making more than $100 million in erroneous Medicaid payments.Full Article: Former Oregon Secretary of State Files Elections Complaint Against Current Secretary of State Dennis Richardson - Willamette Week.
The Oregon Democratic Party won’t allow non-affiliated voters to take part in its 2018 primary. At a party meeting in Portland on Sunday, a resolution to open the Democratic primary did not get the two-thirds majority needed to pass. The idea was to increase votes for Democratic candidates next year.
A task force created by Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is recommending that future redistricting be done by an independent commission. That would be a significant change from the current model, which tasks Oregon lawmakers with drawing up a plan. Redistricting is the process of drawing new legislative and congressional districts to match shifts in population. It takes place every 10 years, following the U.S. Census. Oregon’s next redistricting will occur in 2021. The current method of allowing lawmakers to draw the maps is “susceptible to political manipulation,” Richardson wrote in a newsletter announcing the task force report. “There is an inherent conflict of interest in allowing legislators to draw their own districts and pick their own voters.”Full Article: Oregon Redistricting Task Force Wants To Strip Power From Lawmakers | KUOW News and Information.
Oregon City’s Roxane Riseling said it was “very weird” to get a letter from the elections office for her daughter Megan saying that signatures didn’t match after the September police-bond measure; the same thing happened to both the mother and daughter in two different recent elections, and they say that their signatures “haven’t changed.” Clackamas County has some of the highest proportions of ballots being rejected because county elections officials determine that the voter’s signature on the ballot doesn’t match their registration card.Full Article: Pamplin Media Group - Elections offices reject votes due to 'non-matching' signatures.
Oregon: Legality of Oregon Secretary of State Richardson’s election rule change questioned | The Register-Guard
A change in the rules for collecting initiative petition signatures in Oregon, proposed by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, may be on shaky legal ground, according to a preliminary analysis by the Legislature’s lawyers. Richardson, a Republican, wants to let the backers of initiative petitions start gathering signatures before their ballot title — the neutral, summarized descriptor of what the measure would do — is finalized. Under current practice, backers must wait until their ballot title is approved by either the Oregon attorney general or the state Supreme Court, a process that can be lengthy due to legal disputes about what wording is the most accurate and fair.Full Article: Legality of Oregon Secretary of State Richardson’s election rule change questioned | Local | Eugene, Oregon.
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said Thursday that he plans to change the type of voter registration information that is publicly available after receiving a second request from President Trump’s election integrity commission. Richardson said the commission’s June 28 request for specific — and not all publicly available — information about Oregon voters raised privacy questions and prompted “a full legal and policy review.” He announced a new policy that covers the kind of voter registration information a political party or organization can purchase from the state. “Balancing the need for both privacy and transparency is a critical challenge in the internet age,” Richardson said.Full Article: Pamplin Media Group - Richardson alters policy on selling voter registration lists.
States may soon have another option for accessible ballots as an HTML ballot provider for 36 counties in Oregon considers service in new states. Five Cedars Group, which creates downloadable HTML ballots for the blind and disabled, is undergoing certification in California and also considering expansion to Ohio, both of which have faced voting discrimination lawsuits related to accessibility. The move marks a pattern of states looking toward new technological capabilities to address compliance issues with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a law passed following the 2000 presidential election that ensures all voters have the ability to cast secret ballots privately and independently.Full Article: Oregon's electronic, accessible ballots may soon be available in other states.
Oregon continues to lead the way in expanding voter access with the passage Monday of Senate Bill 802 which gives 16-year-olds the ability to pre-register to vote. Under current Oregon law, an otherwise qualified person who is at least 17 years of age may pre-register to vote. This legislation will lower that to age 16 so that Oregon is able to include, as part of the Motor Voter law, the nearly 20,000 16-year-olds who are licensed in Oregon every year. Without this change, it could take another eight years before those individuals again interact with the Department of Motor Vehicles and are automatically registered.Full Article: Legislature OKs letting 16-year-olds pre-register to vote - KTVZ.
A new report released today by the Center for American Progress’ Liz Kennedy and Rob Griffin, along with voting experts Tova Wang and Professor Paul Gronke, provides a demographic and geographic portrait of how Oregon’s automatic voter registration system (AVR) — the first in the nation — has expanded the state’s electorate and registered hundreds of thousands of eligible citizens to vote. The findings of this exclusive new analysis provide strong evidence in favor of AVR, not only given the increase in people registered to vote and voters, but also how the program has succeeded in making Oregon’s voter rolls more representative of the state’s population by registering younger, less urban, lower-income, and more ethnically diverse individuals. The report is accompanied by a robust set of graphics and charts as well as a video and an interactive map that brings the story to life by showcasing the regions and communities that benefited the most from AVR, displaying both the percentage of AVR registrants in an area as well as their participation rates on election day.Full Article: The Skanner News - New Report Analyzes Impact of Oregon’s Automatic Voter Registration.
Oregon’s six Democrats in Congress want to spread the state’s vote-by-mail law across the country. Both of Oregon’s senators and four U.S. representatives announced the introduction of a bill Thursday that would require “every state to provide registered voters the opportunity to vote by mail,” according to a statement. The bill summary promises that Congress would cover the postal costs for implementation. The Democrats argue vote-by-mail would help increase voter participation — in contrast to efforts at the state and federal level that they characterize as suppressing the vote.Full Article: Oregon's Congressional Democrats Push For National Vote-By-Mail . News | OPB.
Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson on Tuesday announced plans to reinstate thousands of Oregon voters on the inactive list and keep thousands more from lapsing into inactive status. Under current law, Oregon voters are given inactive status and are no longer mailed a ballot if they haven’t voted in at least five years. Richardson is proposing an administrative rule change to keep voters from landing on the inactive list until ten years of not voting. In his first press conference since being elected secretary of state, Richardson, a Republican, said the rule change would reinstate at least 30,000 voters and keep another 30,000 from going inactive.Full Article: Dennis Richardson unveils plan to reinstate inactive voters | OregonLive.com.
In Oregon — where its first-in-the-nation automatic-voter registration system has been hailed as a pioneer in knocking down voter-access barriers — it takes just five years of failing to participate in an election before a registered voter gets knocked from the active voter rolls and no longer receives a ballot in the mail. Roughly 400,000 registered Oregonian voters have been flagged as inactive at some point in time, a number that this year is expected to grow by another 30,000 who registered during the 2012 general election when President Barack Obama was up for re-election. For Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, five years isn’t long enough. So this year, he’s doubling that timeline to 10 years.Full Article: Oregon to spare 60,000 voters from inactive status.
Do Oregon voters fail to return their ballots because of the price of – or inconvenience of obtaining – a postage stamp? Two Democratic legislators think in a significant number of cases, the answer is ‘yes.’ They’re backing a bill to provide postage on mail-in ballots, at a cost to taxpayers of about $650,000 per year. “We know there are ballots out there that are not getting in,” Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, told the Senate Rules Committee on Monday. “We would like to remove the impediment that is there for some people to mailing their ballot that has to do with the postage stamp.”Full Article: Oregon looking at making ballots free to mail.
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.Full Article: America's First Test of Automatic Voter Registration, in Oregon, Has Mixed Results.