Vote-by-mail ‘not controversial in Oregon’


Oregon Secretary of State: Biggest threat to election is misinformation

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a tweet Thursday morning and again at a White House briefing Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump took aim at voting by mail and floated the idea of delaying the election.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting… 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Oregon and Washington pioneered vote by mail and the head of Oregon’s elections has warned the biggest threat to the election is misinformation.

Vote-by-mail “is not controversial in Oregon,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno.

About a month ago, Clarno was featured on “60 Minutes” talking about voting-by-mail. Correspondent Bill Whitaker asked her what percentage of the vote was fraudulent.

“Well in 2016, if we had 2.8 million voters and only 22 people tried to vote in two states, that’s not too bad,” she said.

Clarno’s predecessor and fellow Republican, the late Dennis Richardson, had the same sentiment after conduction audits of the mail-in ballot system.

“No amount of voter fraud is acceptable,” Richardson said on Sept. 15, 2017. “Only one out of 38,000 ballots cast in Oregon in last November’s election is suspicious.”

Peter Threlke, the Information Systems Director for the Office of the Secretary of State, said, “This is not something out of the internet for the public to access.”

In May, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office presented a report to the legislature on Oregon’s voting system, including the 16-year-old computer program used for voter registration. Outside experts had mostly high praise:

“While we did not find any immediate vulnerabilities in the system… (it) is difficult to audit as it is based on outdated technology that needs to be modernized.”

Secretary of State outside report on Election security
Washington State Annual Voting Reports

Washington’s Secretary of State reminded voters that only an act of Congress can change Election Day. Clark County’s auditor, a Republican, said Wednesday his office will do random hand counts of 600 ballots to make sure the vote counting machines are working properly.

When Clarno was asked on 60 Minutes what she thought when President Trump said voting by mail is “dangerous” and “subject to massive fraud,” she had a ready response.

“I think, try it. You might like it.”

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