Oregon Secretary Of State Comments: As the day of the election draws closer, law enforcement agencies in the Pacific Northwest and all over the country are keeping an eye out for potential safety issues and threats against election workers.
In a recent study conducted on a nationwide scale, the Elections and Voting Information Center at Reed College discovered that respondents were concerned about their own personal safety. According to the findings of a survey that polled almost 1,000 election workers from around the United States, nearly two-thirds of local election offices located in large cities were threatened with violence following the election in 2020.
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According to the results of the survey, worries about one’s health and personal safety are leading an increasing number of election officials to either retire or quit their jobs.
In the days leading up to Election Day on November 8, members of law enforcement and election officials are gathering on a daily basis to keep track of potential election-related acts of violence and threats and to formulate responses.
Concerning the safety of the voting process in Oregon, Focushillsboro inquired of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, who is in charge of overseeing election processes at the state level.
“We work very closely with a full team that includes the FBI as well as local law enforcement to monitor any potential threats.” We are not aware of any current threats at this time; but, we do not wait until they become active before having our law enforcement and legal partner agencies watch continually because of what is going all throughout the country.
Fagan also brought up the Election Worker Protection measure, which had been approved by the legislature earlier in the year 2022. The Act permits election workers to keep their home addresses private and increases the penalty for harassing election workers. Additionally, the legislation lets election workers keep their home addresses private.
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In addition to dissatisfied voters looking more closely at election workers, there has also been a record-breaking number of people asking for access to public documents.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey characterized the situation as “worrisome.” It takes a toll on those folks to be subjected to almost two years’ worth of criticism, distrust, and personal insults from voters directed toward election officials.
Kimsey reports that voters are more polite when they call in recent days, but the attention in the last days leading up to the election is not just on the security of the ballots but also on the protection of the voters themselves.
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