"Secretary Fagan has created a crisis of confidence"
ccording to the Secretary of State’s office, counties have until December 15 to turn in their certified election results. As of this writing, six counties, Crook, Curry, Gilliam, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Wallowa, have submitted certified election results.
The Secretary of State Vote by Mail Procedures Manual
includes a schedule for county clerks.
- The first item after the election is to date stamp and forward any returned ballot envelopes misdelivered to the correct Oregon county within 8 days.
- Within 21 days, resolve all signature challenged ballots.
- Before certification, resolve all provisional ballots, and reconcile totals by comparing the number of ballots processed to the return identification ballot envelope counts or computer voter history log for the precinct or batch.
- Within 27 days, file an abstract of votes.
- Within 35 days, electronically transmit to the Secretary of State the results for each contest by precinct, and ballot count report.
- Within 45 days, notify voters of the reason their ballot was not counted including not signed and the ballot postmarked to late or postmarked on time but received too late.
The voter manual timeline gives the county 21 days to notify the elector, and the elector has the same 21 days after election day to make corrections or they will be inactive. How does making a non-responsive elector "inactive" coordinate with not cleaning voter rolls?
- ORS 254.431(b) If the elector does not provide evidence sufficient to disprove a challenge alleging that the signature of the elector on a return identification envelope does not match the signature in the voter registration record for the elector by the 21st calendar day after the date of the election, the registration of the elector shall be considered inactive.
The manual does not include requirements for opening and scanning returned envelopes where the public is allowed to monitor the process. ORS 254.478 allows county clerks to begin opening returned ballots and begin scanning seven days prior to election day. Secretary Fagan took it upon her own authority to bypass statute and extended the law to allow county clerks to begin opening 14 days prior to election day. As she did when she sent out 7,767 ballots to non-registered voters.
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan testified in favor of SB 249
, which didn’t pass. She wants to allow ballots to be opened and counted when they are received rather than forcing County Clerks to wait until 7 days before the day of the election. She claims the flexibility will allow County Clerks to avoid a backlog of ballots on election day. Added time after the election day has increased nefarious activities in ballot harvesting. Added count time prior to election day will allow unscrupulous people to direct their activities. This proposal is certain to return in the 2023 legislative session.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
ORS 254.470 (6) requires a ballot to have a “postal indicator showing that the ballot was mailed not later than the date of the election.” The manual suggested the county use a fluorescent scanner, if available. The postmaster at the Airport Distribution Center said their ballots are sprayed with a date code that can be tracked every place it goes. Eugene also uses spray codes, but experienced smudging. Lacking a postal indicator on a returned ballot, the county election clerk is allowed to decide whether it is counted or not. There doesn’t seem to be uniform treatment across the state on the use of spray coding or if counties have fluorescent scanners, or how they treat late returns with no postmark or unreadable postmarks.
General opinion on social media is that Secretary Fagan has created a crisis of confidence. She admits that people received two or more ballots, and she says counties issuing duplicate ballots cross-check with other counties. However, several counties, including Lane County, admit they don’t check with other counties for duplicate votes. Marion and Lane Counties have admitted they can print ballots at will without change of custody.
Secretary Fagan also claims that the ballots involved in lawsuits are held separately, however, county clerks knew nothing about needing to separate ballots. In one county, litigation is being used as an excuse for not releasing counts that also gives opportunity to add ballots. Further, it is an option of the county clerk if a secrecy envelope is included.
Oregon is one of 31 states that allows some kind of ballot harvesting. Most states have restrictions for family members, but there are several like Oregon that have no restriction except they must be turned in within two days, and an election official may not collect ballots. In this 2022 election, Tina Kotek hired 400 ballot harvesters that targeted the Gen-Z generation. Some would say that Oregon is grooming a generation of 30 and under that are activists, but not thinkers.
There is no limit to how imaginative politics can be. For some, Oregon seems to draw on the worst ideas and has been very good at selling them to voters. We can look to other states for their inspiration. Oregon has tried to expand voters to include 16-year-olds and prisoners. Now, a new idea, the Public Interest Legal Foundation is suing Howard County, Maryland to block its law allowing a member of the school board to be elected by sixth through 11th-grade students, typically 11- or 12-year-olds. If Oregon voters don’t pay attention to election processes, the state will end up in a more oppressive government.
|Post Date: 2022-12-03 06:04:07||Last Update: 2022-12-04 18:39:27|