More Records Requests Hinder Election Office Work In Oregon!

Even though they are already busy getting ready for the November election, county clerks in Oregon are being deluged with demands for public information related to “the big lie” that the 2020 election was rigged, the secretary of state claimed on Monday.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has been traveling to all 36 of Oregon’s counties to meet with county clerks and other election officials. She claims to have witnessed the burden the avalanche of requests has placed on all of the counties, from Lake County in southern Oregon near the California border, which has only 5,590 registered voters, to the more populous counties near Portland.

The major lie, which is that the 2020 election was rigged, has led to an increase in public information requests recently, according to Fagan. Nearly two years later, the falsehood is still having an impact on how our election workers conduct their work.

In a Zoom news conference, Fagan stated that she has observed county clerks and other election officials to be exhausted as she has traveled the state.

According to Fagan, “These are seasoned individuals who have been doing this in Oregon in a very nonpartisan manner for decades, (but) they get so sick of the noise, and it’s just overwhelming.” Over a century’s worth of combined election expertise will be represented by the retirement of several county clerks in the next year or so, according to Fagan.

It was not immediately obvious how many of those retirements were brought on by the increased pressure that election officials are under.

According to Oregon Elections Director Deborah Scroggin, the primary “myths” that election officials in Oregon are battling are that the 2020 election was rigged, that vote-by-mail election can’t be trusted, that machine tabulators are dishonest, and that ballot boxes are not safe.

Scroggin claimed that a recent conference organized by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a prominent 2020 election skeptic, resulted in a deluge of requests for information. In August, Lindell organized a seminar on conspiracies in Springfield, Missouri.

More Records Requests Hinder Election
More Records Requests Hinder Election

We are being inundated with demands for copies of records, she explained. They previously concentrated on forensic audits. There have also been recent requests for hand counts, certification of voting systems, and initiatives to erode confidence in drop-off ballot boxes.

In the sparsely populated southeast of Oregon, the Harney County Clerk Derrin “Dag” Robinson reported receiving dozens of notifications of litigation and roughly 16 requests related to the 2020 election, the majority of which were identical.

Robinson and the county lawyer are the only employees that deal with them, and he described it as “time-consuming, to put it mildly.”

Public service announcements on radio, television, and the internet that highlight election integrity and the simplicity of voting in Oregon are used by Oregon elections authorities to refute misleading information.

Voting by mail, in which ballots are mailed to voters who can return them by mail or at authorized, secure drop-off boxes, was first implemented in Oregon. Voters in Oregon will begin receiving votes in the mail on October 19, Scroggin noted, so Monday marked one month until that date. Saturday is the last day to print and ship ballots to abroad and military voters.

Election officials around the country are being inundated with records demands, not just in Oregon. Additionally, several areas of the nation are experiencing it.

Fagan stated that in order to help the secretary of state and county election officials handle the requests they receive, her office will ask the Legislature for a full-time public records officer.

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