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EOP: OCL ACTION ALERT – STOP SB 1517A in the House Monday – Protect election Integrity


Friday, with just 2 hours notice, the Senate Rules Committee scheduled a hearing and passed an amendment to SB 1517 with the wording of HB 4174, which will repeal the law that requires unused ballots be destroyed in a timely manner.

We still have a chance to STOP SB 1517A.

Monday the bill will return to the House and House Rules Committee for discussion, hearing and work session. FLOOD the House and House Rules Committee NOW. Tell them to protect the integrity of our election process TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON SB 1517.

Come to the Capitol and join the War room effort – go to the hearing and testify! Tell them NO!

Read the attached letter from the Rich Hobernicht, Washington County Election director. He states that per advice from Secretary of State unused ballots were NOT destroyed in November, 2011 until the vote was certified. THEY’RE ALREADY in violation of the law!



House Rules Committee

Tina Kotek D co-chair 503-986-1444 [email protected]
Andy Olson R co-chair 503-986-1415 [email protected]
Vicki Berger R co-vice-chair 503-986-1420 [email protected]
Paul Holvey D co-vice-chair 503-986-1408 [email protected]
Phil Barnhart D 503-986-1411 [email protected]
Tim Freeman R 503-986-1402 [email protected]
Matt Wingard R 503-986-1426 [email protected]
Chris Garrett D 503-986-1438 [email protected]
Matt Wingard R 503-986-1426 [email protected]
Sal Esquivel R 503-986-1406 [email protected]

House Members
Jules Bailey D 503-986-1442 [email protected]
Jeff Barker D 503-986-1428 [email protected]
Phil Barnhart D 503-986-1411 [email protected]
Cliff Bentz R 503-986-1460 [email protected]
Vicki Berger R 503-986-1420 [email protected]
E. Terry Beyer D 503-986-1412 [email protected]
Deborah Boone D 503-986-1432 [email protected]
Peter Buckley D 503-986-1405 [email protected]
Kevin Cameron R 503-986-1400 [email protected]
Ben Cannon D 503-986-1446 [email protected]
Brian Clem D 503-986-1421 [email protected]
Jason Conger R 503-986-1454 [email protected]
Jean Cowan D 503-986-1410 [email protected]
Michael Dembrow D 503-986-1445 [email protected]
Margaret Doherty D 503-986-1435 [email protected]
Sal Esquivel R 503-986-1406 [email protected]
Katie Eyre Brewer R 503-986-1429 [email protected]
Lew Frederick D 503-986-1443 [email protected]
Tim Freeman R 503-986-1402 [email protected]
Bill Garrard R 503-986-1456 [email protected]
Chris Garrett D 503-986-1438 [email protected]
Sara Gelser D 503-986-1416 [email protected]
Vic Gilliam R 503-986-1418 [email protected]
Mitch Greenlick D 503-986-1433 [email protected]
Bruce Hanna R 503-986-1200 [email protected]
Chris Harker D 503-986-1434 [email protected]
Wally Hicks R 503-986-1403 [email protected]
Paul Holvey D 503-986-1408 [email protected]
Val Hoyle D 503-986-1414 [email protected]
John Huffman R 503-986-1459 [email protected]
Dave Hunt D 503-986-1900 [email protected]
Bob Jenson R 503-986-1458 [email protected]
Mark Johnson R 503-986-1452 [email protected]
Alissa Keny-Guyer D 503-986-1446 Ext [email protected]
Bill Kennemer R 503-986-1439 [email protected]
Betty Komp D 503-986-1422 [email protected]
Tina Kotek D 503-986-1444 [email protected]
Wayne Krieger R 503-986-1401 [email protected]
Shawn Lindsay D 503-986-1430 [email protected]
Greg Matthews D 503-986-1450 [email protected]
Mike McLane R 503-986-1455 [email protected]
Nancy Nathanson D 503-986-1413 [email protected]
Mary Nolan D 503-986-1436 [email protected]
Andy Olson R 503-986-1415 [email protected]
Julie Parrish R 503-986-1437 [email protected]
Tobias Read D 503-986-1427 [email protected]
Dennis Richardson R 503-986-1404 [email protected]
Arnie Roblan D 503-986-1300 [email protected]
Mike Schaufler D 503-986-1448 [email protected]
Patrick Sheehan R 503-986-1451 [email protected]
Greg Smith R 503-986-1457 [email protected]
Jefferson Smith D 503-986-1447 [email protected]
Sherrie Sprenger R 503-986-1417 [email protected]
Kim Thatcher R 503-986-1425 [email protected]
Jim Thompson R 503-986-1423 [email protected]
Carolyn Tomei D 503-986-1441 [email protected]
Matt Wand R 503-986-1449 [email protected]
Jim Weidner R 503-986-1424 [email protected]
Gene Whisnant R 503-986-1453 [email protected]
Matt Wingard R 503-986-1426 [email protected]
Brad Witt D 503-986-1431 [email protected]

SB 1517 will:

–Increase the chance of voter fraud, by removing the requirement to destroy unused ballots at 8 pm on election night
–Make it very difficult for election observers to monitor and verify the location and safety of ballots
–Add new requirements for county security procedures, but will retain the stipulation that the details not be released to the public, eliminating public oversight.

SB 1517 amends ORS 254.483 by omitting the law requiring the county clerk to destroy all unused ballots after 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election. There is a good reason why unused ballots are destroyed in a timely manner. Blank ballots sitting around are an invitation for voter fraud.

  • If this bill is passed, it will allow boxes of unused ballots to sit in election offices after the election is over until the county clerk deems it “practicable” to destroy them. Some counties currently keep them until the election is certified—weeks after the election.
  • Destroying unused ballots is an important safeguard to elections. Hoarding boxes of ballots that can be brought out of election closets “when needed” is unacceptable and must not be permitted.
  • ·         Elections must be subject to public oversight. Election observers cannot reasonably monitor boxes of unused ballots for weeks on end.
  • ·         Some counties have video surveillance, but unused ballots are kept for weeks. It is not realistic for volunteer election observers to watch hours of surveillance video recordings. Another prohibitive factor that prevents public oversight is the costly fee that is charged to access the recordings. One volunteer was given a quote of over 300 dollars from her county elections supervisor.  

SB 1517A amends ORS 254.074 by introducing new security procedures. However, it states that “a record or security plan developed and filed under this section is confidential and not subject to disclosure under ORS 192.410 to 192.505”. What good are security procedures if they are not subject to public oversight?

  • ·         The security procedures listed in the bill are not subject to public review, so they are not credible and only produce added suspicion. It is like a car salesman, telling a customer, “You don’t need to look under the hood, just trust me.”
  • ·         The public does not have confidence in a system that keeps them in the dark, public oversight is necessary for all aspects of government and especially elections.

There are alternatives that will protect vote integrity and save taxpayer funds.

  • ·         Audit voting lists so that county clerks are not wasting limited tax-payer funds printing and paying postage for thousands of ballots that are returned undeliverable.
  • ·         Undeliverable ballots should be shredded immediately as they return to the election office. The voter should be noted as inactive, until he or she updates their voter registration.  Returned envelopes with forwarding information should not be used to update voter rolls, as is the practice in some counties. This is unreliable information that threatens ballot security.  
  • ·         A minimum number of ballots may be printed for legitimate purposes, but should be printed on paper of a different color that is absolutely distinguishable to an election observer.  Watermarks are not adequate. Election observers typically have to be several feet away and sometimes behind a glass window.
  • ·         Ballots that are unreadable by the vote counting machine should not be duplicated on a substitute ballot. The votes should be hand tallied.  The results from the tally sheets can be added to the counting machine results when the election staff do the “Reconciliation Process” prior to certifying election results.

Elections are the cornerstone of our representative form of government. If they are faulty, the entire system is faulty. There should be no compromise in guaranteeing the integrity of the vote.

The state law to protect our vote, by destroying unused ballots in a timely manner, is in place for a very good reason. The issue that needs to be addressed is why it is not being enforced. Penalties should be imposed on election officials that violate state law. 

Demand that the House AND House Rules Committee vote NO on SB 1517

Wendy Frome
State Coordinator, Abigail Adams Project

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