HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Oregon (Group) » Could someone explain why...

Fri Dec 12, 2014, 10:22 PM

Could someone explain why those 4000 votes on the GMO initiative weren't counted?

Is a signature mismatch an automatic disqualifier? In WA State. in the event of a signature mismatch, the voters must be contacted once in writing and twice by phone so they can resubmit signatures. If this is not the case in Oregon, people should be working to make it the case.

9 replies, 2384 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Could someone explain why those 4000 votes on the GMO initiative weren't counted? (Original post)
eridani Dec 2014 OP
fredamae Dec 2014 #1
eridani Dec 2014 #2
fredamae Dec 2014 #3
classof56 Dec 2014 #4
cascadiance Dec 2014 #5
fredamae Dec 2014 #7
cascadiance Dec 2014 #8
fredamae Dec 2014 #6
eridani Dec 2014 #9


Response to fredamae (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 03:15 AM

2. Why the eight day requirement?

If you don't respond to the signature letter by the eighth day after an election, politicians can then get your contact information and remind you to make sure your vote counts.

In WA, signature mismatches are available immediately for campaigns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eridani (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 10:01 AM

3. It's a matter of allowing

the voter what they believe to be an adequate amount of time (in OR it's determined 8 days is adequate) to respond to and correct the confusion re: an individual ballot....they can't just notify a voter of an inconsistency without a timely response requirement or they'd have to still go back to Bush/Gore to recount-as I understand it.
Here is the OR SoS website...

http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/default.aspx

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fredamae (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 02:49 PM

4. Thanks for the information, fredamae.

I have been wondering how this will work with online registration, but couldn't get far enough on the SOS website to find an answer. Thanks for the link--I'll give it a go.

I've been a registered Oregon voter since I moved here some 40-plus years ago (from WA state, where I also voted). Sometimes (I'm now pretty old) my essential tremors kick in, which affects my handwriting, but so far the ballot signature has worked fine. Good to know if there's a question I have time to straighten it out after I'm contacted. To me, eight days seems plenty of time to respond in ordinary circumstances. There are always exceptions, of course. I truly appreciate Oregon's elections system, and love vote by mail.

I also love our state motto: She Flies With Her Own Wings. Yes!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to classof56 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 03:33 PM

5. I think in many counties there are efforts to make sure that this process works...

 

... and that we get in contact with people that have problems with their ballots. In most other elections, their vote numbers haven't been a significant number of votes to affect the outcomes of certain races, etc. like they might have in this measure 92 vote.

I think that there are rules on the books and many good honest efforts to make sure that this process works. But I think this election has to have us ask the following questions that hopefully will make it work better, and expose if this election was tainted at all or was just a long hard fought ballot that we honestly lost, even if by a slim margin.

1) What are the standards that are used to judge whether signatures don't match. Who judges them? I've been since told that handwriting experts are used to analyze them.

2) What kind of observance by third parties monitor this process?

3) Are these processes evenly applied in all counties across the state, or just in certain counties versus others? What happened in Clackamas County with vote counting has me wanting to know how all counties do this counting, not just large counties that we have more representation in those administering the process like Washington and Multnomah.

4) When looking at signature matches, for the honest voters that have problems having their signatures match, is 8 days to respond long enough? You have to ask yourself who are the honest voters that are most likely affected by this wrongly. It is likely the elderly or other voters who have chronic health conditions that don't allow for them to sign their signatures in a consistent fashion that might have larger problems responding to a 8 day notice to validate or fix their ballots than other voters. And in a vote like Measure 92, I would guess that these voters, as voters that are likely more concerned about health issues than other Oregon voters do percentage-wise, that they would be more have apt to have voted for measure 92. So, even if those who are counting votes have no other visibility of the person's ballot other than their signature, those with an agenda might feel more inclined to invalidate signatures that are "close" to being valid in this election than in other elections where such ballots might not make a difference and be more inclined to vote a certain way.

What would be nice is if we could have had a count of yes or no on these 4600 ballots on Measure 92, even if they aren't counted, just to see if it would have passed if some or all of them were counted or not.

I think that what would be a good goal of this election would be to have a bit more public visibility on all of these questions, so that we can feel comfortable with the process, and that it is being done properly and fairly across the board in every county. Even if we lose, if we can feel that it is being done right (hopefully already having been done right), we'll know that the next time we get such a ballot measure being voted on, we'll not have a rigged system to deal with.

Maybe we can change some of the rules for things like this where if there's a recount on a certain state-wide race or ballot measure, that if the amount of votes being thrown out (for whatever reason) exceeds the margin of a given recount, we provide an additional measure of time period for those to correct their ballots too, so that we can ensure that we have as many valid voters having their votes counted in a given pivotal race.

Again, if we provide a healthy analysis and period of perhaps doing some reforms after this election, even if we lose this vote, we'll gain the respect of all Oregon voters for having done the right thing, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, third parties, or independents. That is what we should shoot for. It will also be symbolic to the rest of the states watching us how they should also reform their even more backward processes to ensure they have fair voting systems in place too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cascadiance (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 08:44 PM

7. To the best of my knowledge.........

1) What are the standards that are used to judge whether signatures don't match. Who judges them? I've been since told that handwriting experts are used to analyze them.

A) The ballots are initially ran through a machine for verification on election day. I believe it is an automated process as I was told that's the first step before they are sorted bundled by precinct. If ballots are set aside due to a sig mis-match the voter is contacted and allowed to respond in a timely manner. I believe the rules are more intense during a recount, but basically the same. I volunteered to be an observer during the recount but due to physical limitations and because the actual rules for observers and enhanced responsibilities I disqualified myself. I can assure you that the ballot counting process is well managed, ballots checked-verified and then checked again with each step tracked, logged and initialed. I was amazed.

2) What kind of observance by third parties monitor this process?
A) As I understand it-Depending on population/size of county etc, there is always at least one observer from every party there or at least they are invited and allowed to be there. The day I volunteered I was the Only observer, but for our size, If a member of any other party wanted to be there and showed up--they could have.

3) Are these processes evenly applied in all counties across the state, or just in certain counties versus others? What happened in Clackamas County with vote counting has me wanting to know how all counties do this counting, not just large counties that we have more representation in those administering the process like Washington and Multnomah.
A) What happened in ClackCo? Sorry, I'm a bit out of the loop-
To the best of my knowledge, all election processes are determined by and under State of Oregon Election ORS and OAR's

4) When looking at signature matches, for the honest voters that have problems having their signatures match, is 8 days to respond long enough? You have to ask yourself who are the honest voters that are most likely affected by this wrongly. It is likely the elderly or other voters who have chronic health conditions that don't allow for them to sign their signatures in a consistent fashion that might have larger problems responding to a 8 day notice to validate or fix their ballots than other voters. And in a vote like Measure 92, I would guess that these voters, as voters that are likely more concerned about health issues than other Oregon voters do percentage-wise, that they would be more have apt to have voted for measure 92. So, even if those who are counting votes have no other visibility of the person's ballot other than their signature, those with an agenda might feel more inclined to invalidate signatures that are "close" to being valid in this election than in other elections where such ballots might not make a difference and be more inclined to vote a certain way.

A) I believe 8 days is adequate, but-if you don't, then lobby your lawmakers to make a change..as well as contact OR SoS Kate Brown with your concerns, request that they also request a change via the legislature. You raise some important concerns. However, remember also-they were contacted, as I understand initially during the general election process---I believe (tho I could be wrong) that the 8 day timely response requirement may apply to the recount process. I'd like to know and will call SoS to find out.
There are So many Observers during the recount process, while possible-it would be extraordinarily difficult to "cheat". The regular business of counting our ballots here in OR is very well done, lots of observing and verifying--but the Recount process is "off the charts" serious.
We had to go through some pretty specific training before the recount. The directives and rules are very rigid, strict and intense. If you live here..and you are able-I totally encourage you to be an observer. You'll feel a lot better and secure about the value they place on counting Your vote.


All that said-I reserve the right to possibly be wrong I'm going off memory here and at my age--that can be risky business...lol

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fredamae (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 09:10 PM

8. From my discussions, I think that every effort has been made to make this an honest & decent process

 

I'm thinking that we shouldn't be overly worried about people trying to game the system. Even the Clackamas problem from last election I think was dealt with appropriately, and hopefully was just the actions of a few that weren't an organized effort to do some tampering that would cause significant damage.

http://www.katu.com/politics/Changes-at-Clackamas-County-Elections-to-prevent-ballot-tampering-223220841.html

The Clackamas situation I think shows that even if many are honest in trying to put together a decent system not vulnerable to tampering, etc., that on occasion it does get manipulated, and we need to constantly review it to see if and when it does work right or not, and improve on systems if they are shown to allow for some bad outcomes that take away from us accurately measuring what our citizen voters want.

I think in a case like Measure 92, where the stakes were very high with record amounts of money being spent, even if there weren't any manipulation efforts going on, in a race this close, it doesn't hurt to review it carefully to make sure it was done properly, and whether in fact things like 8 day periods to fix problems with ballots worked as well as they could in terms of doing everything possible to provide our voters who played by the rules the ability to have their votes counted. If we could show that there are ways to improve it, this would be the optimal time to do this sort of review and make sure that it works and is improved as needed.

I think just as important is to make the process as visible as possible, so that the public also feels comfortable that the state is doing its job right to make it work right. Half the battle is the battle of perception. If enough of what is being done right isn't known by the public, then it doesn't do a lot of good to do it right if people don't trust what they don't know is going on if there are things like lawsuits happening as a result of election outcomes. These times especially when trust in our government is close to all time lows.

So far, from what I'm hearing, I'm impressed by the way things are done that most of us don't know about, and I think more of us should know the lengths many officials go to to make it a fair process.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to classof56 (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 08:16 PM

6. It isn't perfect for Every

single instance, but on a scale of 1-100" I'll give it a 98
I hated the idea of it in the beginning...because I loved going to the polls and seeing folks from my area-discussing the issues of the times, etc..but - I Also Hated going out at night-after work, cold, rainy, very windy, usually - at least where I lived at that time. After the first year? I loved it and will Never go back.
My sig has Definitely changed and about every 5 years or so, I just drop by my co clerks office and do my own random check. They're always happy to help and pull my info. That way, for me-I can rest assured my vote will never be in question.

Yep-Oregonians are a wonderful and unique mix of folks who'll fight and argue like hell amongst ourselves but when "outsiders" come in..Look Out-we band together and kick some ass
More so in the "old days" than now..but this past year I saw a little of that re-emerge and I smiled.
I also believe that we are a bit above average in being informed about the issues.
I love Oregon. I've been here my entire life with zero regrets as were my parents, grandparents and even my great-grandparents.
Btw-after 4+ decades: Welcome to Oregon

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Dec 13, 2014, 10:37 PM

9. I understand that Oregon uses computer progams to match signatures

This has been rejected in Washington as too inaccurate. Computers are used only to assist human evaluators. There are two groups of validators, one with just basic training and the other consisting of certified handwriting recognition professionals. The first group is hired en masse before the ballot processing starts. They are given a computer copy of the envelope signature to match visually with computer copies of that voter's signature from the last six elections. I've observed this process, and mostly it's very easy to see a match in a second or two. This team is not allowed to reject ballots.

If the first team has any question whatsoever, the ballot is pulled for the second team, which validates some signatures and pulls the rest so that a signature letter can be sent out right away (along with ballots whose envelopes has missing signatures.) This is followed up by two robocalls. Returned signature sheets go through the same validation process, and most result in ballot acceptance.

Also, voters can go online to check if their signature has been validated or not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread