PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Security is being stepped up at ballot drop boxes in Arizona after a number of incidents, including armed individuals showing up at polling locations in a county there.
With some groups and even local politicians pushing false claims of election fraud in the Northwest, KOIN 6 News talked with elections officials and the FBI about the potential for voter intimidation.
The office of the U.S. Attorney in Oregon announced this week that they’re appointing two district elections officers who will oversee complaints of voter intimidation and threats to elections officials or staff in the state.
That announcement came as the Secretary of State in Arizona referred half a dozen cases of voter intimidation to federal authorities.
KOIN 6 News talked with Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan about if their office has received any complaints about this very issue. Fagan recently visited all 36 county elections offices, she said so far there’s been no reports of voters being intimidated at the ballot box or elsewhere. However, they have seen on social media people talking about their plans to watch drop boxes.
“This is a new thing. I think it’s based on, I don’t even want to say the name of it, but there’s a conspiratorial movie out there that claims that people were stuffing drop boxes. It’s completely false,” Fagan said.
Fagan said it prompted them to send out, to all elections offices, posters that list voting rights.
KOIN 6 News also talked to officials in the FBI’s Portland office who say they haven’t heard about any specific threats relative to Oregon. However, Special Agent in Charge, Kieran Ramsey says they will operate a 24-hour command post just before and during Election Day.
“We run 24-hour command posts for special situations,” Ramsey said. “We need to make sure that we are appropriately postured and appropriately partnered with our partners in state, federal, and local government to again, make sure that this is a safe and secure election, and that all eligible voters are able to freely exercise their right to vote.”
For voters putting their ballots in the mailbox, Fagan reminds them about the new postmark rule. Ballots postmarked by Election Day count even if they arrive a week later.
“Like last May, folks can get their ballots in either by dropping it off at a drop box like they always have, but they also can put it in their mailbox and put that flag up. And as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day, even if it arrives by mail at the county clerk’s office up to seven days afterwards, it was a ballot that was cast on time,” she said.