FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Challenged ballots and International Election Observers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Challenged ballots and International Election Observers

11/6/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Rebecca Gladstone, President, LWVOR
lwvor@lwvor.org, 503.581.5722, lwvor.org

[Salem, Oregon] –

The League of Women Voters of Oregon champions the importance of counting every ballot. We call on Oregon voters to “cure” challenged ballots, those set aside in our elections offices with problems. Oregon’s County Clerks mail letters or postcards to voters whose ballots cannot be processed, most often for lack of a signature. Ballots can still be counted if elections offices receive corrections within Oregon’s two-week extension deadline of November 17th, one reason Oregon statute allows 30 days to officially certify election results. Oregon voters should check first with County Elections Officials.

For more help, our national #866OurVote Election Protection Hotline: 866.687.8683 can be reached 9am-9pm Eastern time, with state-by-state specific answers. Thousands of volunteers nationally are working in earnest under deadlines now. You may be transferred directly to experts in Oregon. Deadlines for ballot corrections vary not only by state but within jurisdictions. Others should check their state’s ballot cure deadlines; Georgia’s was today. See CNN’s Ballot Curing explained, with deadlines.

We are proud of Oregon’s legacy of first statewide Vote by Mail, automatic “MotorVoter” registration, voter-verifiable paper ballots, postage paid ballot envelopes, and progress with risk-limiting audits. In 2016 over 28,000 Oregon ballots, between 0.2-1.0%, were challenged, mostly because voters failed to sign the outer envelopes. Bill Burgess, Marion County Clerk, reported two weeks ago:

“So far, about 800 Marion County voters have been notified of signature mismatch issues, and about 100 didn’t sign their ballot envelopes”.

LWVOR is sharing the 24-page Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions from OSCE, an international election observers’ team, which conducted an extensive interview on our experience with Oregon’s elections. OSCE has observed a number of US election cycles and this team was one of 15 traveling around the country. The Oregon League has sent election observers to other countries but we have not been interviewed here before. The report includes problems persisting from earlier reports.

Rebecca Gladstone, LWVOR President:

“The League of Women Voters of Oregon will be addressing concerns raised in the international observers’ report. We advocate for many facets of elections, from civics education to improved voter registration, candidate filing software and improved geospatial elections districting. We look forward to working with our recently elected Legislature and the incoming Secretary of State to address this election’s challenges including COVID and wildfires.”

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