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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ballot Tampering Potential High in Multnomah County

My concerns regarding the
CD3 recount of 2010 and the lack of transparency at Multnomah County
Elections.

All citizens of Oregon should be concerned about how this one county
elections office counts our votes, due to the fact that all our
statewide elected officials are determined by how the votes turn up in
Multnomah County. After a thorough vetting of the data I strongly
believe the Oregon State Legislature should conduct an investigation
into the entire Elections division of the Secretary of State's Office.

Problem:

Printing and maintaining the ES&S voting machines for the vast
majority of all Oregon ballots is concentrated in the hands of just
one private sector vender- Ryder Graphics
http://rydergraphics.net/contacts/index.php
You see each County is free to choose its own vender to print and
maintain their election equipment/machines. But last I checked all but
a 4 Oregon counties use the same ES&S voting machines. ES&S mandates
that only a certified ES&S company shall maintain their machines.
There is only one certified company in Oregon and that is Ryder
Graphics. It just so happens that Tim Scott's predecessor Vicki Paulk
(formerly Vickie Ervin)works both as a part time Multonomah County
Election worker and a full time Ryder Graphics employee. The entry
exit logs show that Vicki Paulk returned to MCE the morning after
Delia Lopez demanded a partial recount and was in and out of the
secure ballot storage room (red room) with the machines all morning.
Since the election was certified all the ballots stored in their
precinct boxes should have been sealed and ready for inspection. Yet
the logs prove a great deal of activity about twice the normal from
earlier day's logs occurred on that day. With over 32,000 blank
ballots at their disposal for the 4+ days after Delia Lopez identified
the 6 precincts she wished recounted, we have no confidence that these
ballots were not tampered with, in light of the evidence on the
security log we have reason to ask why with the vote sealed and
certified were you in these rooms?

"Even before Measure 60 passed, Vicki Paulk, director of Multnomah
County Elections from 1984 to 2002, encouraged voters to take
advantage of loosening restrictions on absentee voting.
Was Paulk, who used the name Vicki Ervin back then, forging ahead of the change?
Not quite, she said, laughing. “I’m all for public education. … Let’s
just say I made it easy for them to take advantage of (mail voting).”
http://albertideation.com/category/jeff-merkley/

After both the CD3 and Governor's recount, James Vaughn and I jointly
delivered a public records demand of Multnomah County Elections to try
to track the whereabouts of all of the ballots after printing . The
following are bullet points that I believe either need to be
investigated or remedied through the implementation of new statutes to
ensure not only a fair, honest election but if need be a transparent
and flexible recount process.

1. Require that no one vender may be allowed to service more than 1/2
of all county elections office as Ryder Graphics does.

3. Require all county elections office to both maintain card key
security and video camera system to track the ballots all the way
through the process.

4. Expose the security procedure plans for all county elections
office, so that the public and the legislative branch may audit their
activities.

5. Require the Secretary of State to report back with verifiable proof
that all counties have destroyed their left over blank ballots after
8p on election night.

6. Require a full accounting be placed on all county election offices
website tallying all the ballots that were incorrectly dropped off in
the wrong county drop boxes. As the tri counties exchange ballots with
no apparent accounting of those ballots. For instance how many did
Washington County give to Multnomah County and visa versa.

7. Introduce a referendum to revisit vote by mail system so that the
voters may decide if after all these years they really like vote by
mail.

8. While we still have vote by mail we must mandate that all drop
boxes must be exclusively in public buildings like libraries and post
offices with strict security as to supervision of the box and its
transportation to and from County Elections including specific
guidelines, sign in, sign out records for the authorized County
Election workers who should be the only people eligible to transport
the boxes.

9. Allow candidate to get an estimate of the cost of a recount.

10. Allow candidates to the opportunity to identify additional
precincts right up until the recount begins.

11. Mandate that once a recount of any size is demanded that no one is
allowed to enter the room in which the precinct ballot boxes are being
stored except in the presence of the candidate who demanded the
recount and only the day of their recount.

Here is a short video clip from my discussions with Tim and Eric at
Multnomah County Elections as well as my testimony to the House rules
hearing on February 14, 2011.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z1aeQv4pW4

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