Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Little-known vote-by-mail facts (to me, anyway)

According to today's Oregonian:
It doesn't matter whether you use blue pen or pencil to fill out the ballot or sign your envelope. However, don't use a black pen. Some black pens also have red in their ink formulas, which is not picked up by the scanner used to count votes.
Each county elections office provides privacy booths for voters who wish to vote there or for persons who need assistance voting because of a disability.
And finally some questions based on the O's info:
People do occasionally report receiving two ballots, especially if they've moved or changed their registration. But only one ballot per voter is counted.
Really? How do we know only one ballot is counted? There's enough evidence of dead people voting that I find it difficult to believe a duplicate ballot isn't counted...

OK, two more related questions:
  • Q: My husband says he doesn't want to vote. Can I fill out his ballot, sign his name on the envelope and turn it in?
  • A: Not unless you're ready to go to jail. It's a Class C felony to sign another person's name on the ballot. The penalty: as long as five years in prison and a $125,000 fine.
  • Q: Can only U.S. citizens vote in this election? Or can non-citizens vote in local races and school bonds?
  • A: You must be a legal U.S. citizen to vote in any race. Anyone who falsely claims U.S. citizenship on a voter registration card risks going to jail for five years and paying a $125,000 fine.
Considering how stringent our elections division is about proving citizenship, it seems to me that a wife wanting to vote for her husband could do so without much fear of prosecution.

Can you say fraud?


  • At 11/04/2006 8:47 PM, Blogger ajsmith said…

    Just a note here. In Oregon, every single voter signature (on the security envelope) is checked against that voter's registration card. Signing someone else's name can land you in prison for five years. So I'd be careful about telling people that they can commit voter fraud with impugnity.

    Oregon's elections are pretty close to fraud-free.

  • At 11/05/2006 3:25 PM, Blogger Ken said…


    That was not well-worded on my part, so I changed it to better reflect my thoughts. That said -- "pretty close to fraud-free"? Surely you jest.

  • At 11/06/2006 1:23 PM, Anonymous YoungerVoice said…

    Just a note that Marion County ballots are ok'd for black ink. I had a bit of a scare this morning as I watched my sister fill out her ballot with black ink. The Statesman Journal has an article addressing that issue today. Apparently Marion Co. has different machines than other Co,'s. Just thought I'd include that note for your readers to the South. :)


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