Oregon shows how not to do vote-by-mail | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Oregon shows how not to do vote-by-mail

If the 2020 pandemic makes vote-by-mail inevitable for this November's presidential election, the nation needs to know how not to do it the Oregon way, which encourages ballot harvesting.

In 1998, Secretary of State Phil Keisling introduced vote-by-mail to Oregon and the nation. At the time, it seemed a decent idea. But Keisling, a good government reformer, forgot one thing — to secure the ballot box. He instead left it wide open for 20 days in every election. Between special elections, primaries, and general elections, Oregonians can literally spend months in the middle of an election.

The late Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, Oregon’s only Republican statewide officeholder in 18 years, examined vote-by-mail and found very little “Chicago-style" fraud. What he didn’t examine, and what Oregonians have had to deal with, is a more complicated corruption, and an insidious part of the vote-by-mail process known as ballot harvesting.

Here’s how that works. County election offices provide voter lists to campaigns. These lists include information about what political party a voter is registered in and how often they vote. Voters are characterized as 4x4 voters (voted in the last two general elections and primaries), 3x4 voters (skipped one of the last two primary elections), 2x4 voters, and so on.