I have gotten onto the email distribution list of Election Oregon, a group that appears to be a spin off of True the Vote.
The more citizens that learn about the election process in this state the better, but I can’t imagine a more tedious election observation activity than watching a drop box in Oregon (follow this link to see all the individual drop boxes in the state)!
Here’s the plan:
We need individuals posted at each drop box on the last two days of the Election to follow every last ballot directly to your county’s Election office. We need people to volunteer in teams one to drive one to video record the entire journey. I would be happy to act as dispatcher on Election night. Only catching these vote fixer in the act with a video record will make our case.
The problem lies in the trajectory of the vote by mail ballot in this state. Once a ballot is completed by an individual and dropped at a drop box, it follows this path:
- The sealed drop box is transported, generally at 8 pm on election day, sometimes earlier (and then replaced) in popular locations, by an employee from the county office.
- The box is inspected and opened in a secure location at the county elections office.
- The ballots are marked and begin to be processed.
- Signatures are inspected and validated.
- Ballots are separated from the security envelopes and are inspected for stray marks.
- Voter intention, if in question, is determined and ballot remarking may occur.
- Ballots are scanned and tallied.
It is simply difficult to know at what point “vote fixing” could possibly occur once ballots are dropped in the box.
Most election experts agree that the points of vulnerability in voting by mail system occur when the ballots leave the hands of government officials–after they are mailed and before they are returned.
I’ve done some election observation myself, and it’s never exciting. But spending all day videotaping a plastic box at a library even makes me feel sleepy!