PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The State of Oregon is moving towards making sure people can keep a close eye on the election night vote count from the comfort of their homes with a plan to install livestream cameras at election offices.
The state legislature passed a bill to require the secretary of state to get federal grant money for a pilot project to install these cameras at several county election offices to show ballot counting in real-time.
While the SoS office says it doesn’t know which counties will be part of the pilot, several Oregon counties have had live streaming camera systems in place for a few years — Lane County recently received a national award for their multi-camera system.
When asked how Klamath County would protect ballot privacy when cameras are rolling, County Clerk Rochelle Long said the process doesn’t allow for the voter envelopes to be face-up.
“Everything has a process and those are actually face down. So you can’t do the signature. And the way that they’re taken apart, even it’s all done in a system so that like so that you don’t know who voted,” she said.
Ballot counting has been a theme in Clackamas County, where in the May primary last year, ballots had a printing error, so the counting machines could not read most of them. Ballots had to be copied over by hand by elections workers, which took several weeks, leaving some close races hanging in the balance.
While Multnomah County elections have many security cameras, they do not currently livestream elections.