Oregon Senate Democrats adopt Stalin’s approach to ballot security.. to insure the “correct outcomes”.
by J. Dysinger
This week ballot and election security was center stage at the Oregon Legislature. They crafted and passed HB2199A after a long and heated battle between citizens and the Secretary of State.
Most civilized societies destroy unused ballots at the close of the election when all marked ballots have been turned in and the count begins. This removes the opportunity for mischief and insures public trust in the process. Sunshine laws are intended to allow the pubic to see the process of counting ballots to witness the process and instill confidence in our election process.
In 2008 election observers at Multnomah County questioned the Elections Director about how and where would the unused blank ballots be destroyed at 8PM on Election night, as set forth in ORS 254.483. The Elections Director said they keep the unused ballots throughout the election process. In 2010 blank ballots were found in abundance on the loading dock of the elections office, just spilling out of the boxes during a recount of one of the races. Documents were obtained from the shredding company who actually were sent away after being told by the County Clerk to not destroy the ballots at their regular scheduled time, because a recount of one of the races. Apparently they wanted to keep the blank ballots throughout the recount too. This was a great cause of citizen’s concern. Citizens asked Mresearch to look at the security of Multnomah County Elections. The report showed that electronic security was lacking in the office. The combination of a vulnerable tally machine, along with extra blank ballots means that the paper results could be substituted to match the electronic count if a recall was done.
This vulnerability was the catalyst to ask officials to secure our elections by observing the statue to destroy those unused ballots. Over the last 5 years, complaints were lodged with the Multnomah County Commissioners, then the County Auditor, which did not respond to the satisfaction of citizens.
The debate went on through 5 different bills in the State Legislature and finally a Court Case . Judge Youlee Yim You said in her judgment that the Secretary of State could decide how to conduct the election when there was a conflict within the law and that the Legislature should solve the conflict.
This last week the democratic controlled Senate passed HB2199A which removed the requirement to destroy the ballots on election night, and also removed the requirement to even count the unused ballots. It removed any meaningfully observation the election process. The security camera will be restricted to view only by Election officials. Security breeches are not reported to the public. The new law removed many accounting and ballot disposition functions.
Election officials saying that they need extra ballots to duplicate soiled ballots that are rejected by the ballot scanner machine. Senator Ted Ferrioli stated on the Senate Floor during the debate: There are a number of options for dealing with damaged ballots. The least desirable of which is to keep tens of thousands of unused ballots in the same buildings as ballots are being counted. Why does the Senate feel a need to make election fraud much easier to accomplish? The Senate Minority HB2199B brought a second option for the Senators to consider that required a tally of all the various types of ballots in the control of the county clerks. The minority option failed.
HB2199A was passed along party lines Senate Democrat votes- Ayes: Bates, Beyer, Burdick, Devlin, Dingelder, Edwards, Hass, Johnson, Monnes-Anderson, Monroe, Prozanski, Roblan, Rosenbaum, Shields, Steiner-Haysard, President Courtney.
Republicans voted for against it – Nays: Baertschiger, Boquist, Close, Ferrioli, George, Girod, Hansell, Knopp, Kruse, Olsen, Starr, Thomsen, Whitsett, Winters.
The electronic security of our elections could be compromised . It is vulnerable! We will not know if and when this happens. The Oregon Election machine is well oiled, complete with tens of thousands of unused ballots on hand to correct any ‘mistakes’ that may occur during the elections process. Is this any way to run a government?
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