MEDFORD, Ore. — On the eve of Election Day, county officials in Oregon are dealing with a last-minute controversy: election fraud. An election employee is suspected of tampering with ballots in Clackamas County; apparently, she wanted to produce more votes for Republican candidates.
Jackson County officials have been counting ballots since last week but they’re anticipating more ballots to starting filing and to make sure your votes are yours only, county officials have an election board made up of mixed parties to avoid bias. For voter Erik Everett, he can’t help but feel a level of skepticism dropping off his ballot.
“75% sure, there’s always that in the back of mind that someone is being the puppet master,” Everett said.
After hearing about a Clackamas County employee who is suspected of tampering with ballots, it adds to his doubt.
“That’s awful,” Everett said. “I wish there would be a clear vote in this election. I wish that we could go back and go to a popular vote.”
The Jackson County Elections office explained it’s already taking safety measures to prevent fraud. Though county officials are not detailing exactly what steps they take, they said once ballots come in, a four person election board looks through each ballot.
“Working in a bi-partisan manner to make sure the integrity and transparency in the election are upheld and to make sure your votes are in correctly as you wish it to be on that ballot,” explained the Jackson County Clerk, Chris Walker.
By state rules the election board members looking at the ballots must belong to different parties.
“Meaning we usually have two Democrats, and two Republicans at a table,” Walker said, “But sometimes we have a mix: two Dems, a Republican and a non-partisan.”
Everett believes being an educated voter is one way your choices are made solely by you.
“You just have to make sure what you’re voting for what your casting your ballot for,” Everett said. “Some of the ‘yes’ can confuse people, too; am I yes vote? Am I no vote? Just want to read that pamphlet thoroughly and make sure that you’ve cast the vote that you wanted to cast. You can’t complain if you don’t get out there and cast your vote.”
You must have your ballot in by 8 p.m. Tuesday night. That doesn’t mean it has to be post-marked by November 6th, but into their offices, or any one of these official drop-off boxes, by 8 p.m.