HB 3291, passed in the 2021 Session making it even more possible to manipulate our elections. According to HB 3291, ballots postmarked the day of the election and received no later than a week afterward will be counted. Now, there is notice of a rulemaking public hearing to create the Rules [PDF] that will be used to promulgate regulations pertaining to the new law according to the interpretation of the Secretary of State's office.
The proposed Rules change the deadline to capture the data used in hand count calculations from 12:00 p.m. the day after the date of the election to 5 p.m. the fourteenth day after the date of the election. Why not eight days? Does that mean ballot counting will continue for fourteen days after the election?
The bill, which I voted against, was troubling to begin with. What could possibly go wrong? How will we know there is a proper postal indicator? Will ballots be counted anyway if there is an unreadable postmark or no postmark at all because someone decided it should be? Will the envelopes, postmarked or not, and counted after election day be kept as evidence for a period of time after the election? Will there be a tally of ballots, or the physical ballots counted, kept as proof of an honest count after the date of election?The bill also allows county clerks to open and begin counting ballots upon receipt. Will information be "leaked" as has become common nowadays in the mainstream media to alter outcomes?
These are questions and concerns from my constituents because of so much distrust in our elections. I urge you to take a look at the upcoming Rulemaking process and become involved. To quote the Secretary of State's webpage: "Administrative Rules are created by most agencies and some boards and commissions to implement and interpret their statutory authority." [Bold added] Political agendas become apparent during this process. In reality, Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) can either make or break a bill.
The hearing will take place on October 6, 2022 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. Public comments may be sent to the Elections Division until October 7, 2022 at 5:00 p.m: [email protected].
Senator Kim Thatcher
Senate District 13
Secretary of State
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 126
Salem OR 97310
Contact: [email protected] | 503-986-1518 | Toll Free 1-866-673-VOTE
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Relating to Hand Count of Ballots
The Elections Division is providing notice of administrative rulemaking activity for proposed changes to OAR 165-007-0290 [PDF]. The Division scheduled a public hearing and is accepting comments. More information can be found below and on our website.
Public Hearing and Comments
A public hearing for this rule will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. The hearing will take place on October 6, 2022 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. Visit our website for more information. Public comments may be sent to the Elections Division until October 7, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
FILING CAPTION: Changes the date and time of the data used in hand count calculations
RULE SUMMARY: This amendment provides that the results posted to the Secretary of State's electronic reporting system for unofficial results as of 5 p.m. the fourteenth day after the date of the election will be used to calculate the margin of victory and to determine the percentage of precincts or ballot count batches to be hand counted.
CHANGES TO RULE: The proposed changes to OAR 165-007-0290 can be found at the State Archives division's website and the Elections Division's website [PDF].
NEED FOR RULE:This rule changes the deadline to capture the data used in hand count calculations from 12:00 p.m. the day after the date of the election, to 5:00 p.m. the fourteenth day after the date of the election. This change is necessary so that ballots that arrive timely, but after the date of the election, can be counted and reflected in the data used to determine the percentage of precincts or ballot count batches to be hand counted.
DOCUMENTS RELIED UPON: ORS 254.529 available online at www.oregonlegislature.gov or from the agency.
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