Oregon Secretary of State

Election Integrity

​​​​​​​​​​​​The Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division is committed to providing voters with accurate information about elections and elections administration in Oregon.

Election Facts

Did you know

Oregon's elections are secure. The voting equipment is never connected to the internet. There are no routers connected to the tabulation system and there never have been.​

Did you know

Oregon performs post-election reviews after every election that includes a federal or state-wide contest. ​

​​​​​The Elections Division regularly receives and deploys a number of intra and cross state data sets to counties to detect, remove, and prevent deceased individuals from voting or registering to vote. Oregon is a member of the national Elections Registration Information Center​ (ERIC), a national voter registration data sharing system. Each member state shares information, in addition to change of address and duplicate registrations, about deceased individuals on a regular monthly basis.

Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) FAQ​

In addition to national information, through the ERIC sharing process, the Oregon Elections Division receives information from the Oregon State Vital Records Division, under the Oregon Health Authority, regarding deaths of Oregonians. The information is then shared with local elections officials so they can promptly cancel and remove the deceased voter from their voting rolls. Occasionally there is a delay from the Oregon State Vital Records Division, but there are other preventative measures in place. If someone falsely casts a deceased voter’s ballot, for instance, it would be removed because the signature wouldn’t pass a signature matching review against the signature on file. In addition, if a person tries to cast a ballot for a deceased voter, they could face felony charges. It is a felony offense to vote for someone else.

Local county elections officials also receive notifications from other reliable sources, such as obituaries. Some counties are very small in population and are connected to their community regarding local deaths. In conjunction with community knowledge, updates to voter rolls are regular and detailed, whether driven by community verification or state, local, or national information sharing. ​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The post-election reviews across the state after the November 3, 2020 general election showed conclusively that the results of the election were accurately reported and certified, as they have since Oregon started conducting these audits in 2008. Yo​u can review them here where they are publicly posted for each county​​. 

Oregon law requires random sampling hand counts or risk-limiting audits in all counties following Primary, General, and Special elections. All of Oregon’s 36 county elections officials conducted these reviews, which require hand recounts of ballots, for the 2020 General Elections. All reviews confirmed the certified results.

Forensic audits are not currently a part of conducting elections in Oregon. Although the term “forensic auditing” is widely used and has an accepted definition in fields such as finance and accounting, it does not yet have a uniform definition in regard to elections. In the financial world, forensic audits typically trace issues back to individual transactions or people – this cannot be done in an election, as voters have the right to and expectation of a secret ballot. 

Recent efforts in Arizona and Pennsylvania are not fact-finding missions. Rather, they are based on conspiracy theories and designed to keep dangerous lies about the 2020 election alive to justify future attacks on the freedom to vote. ​ As the U.S. Department of Justice warned​, when election records are not under the control of trusted election officials, there are significant security risks. 
For further information on Oregon election laws and post-election procedures:

​​​​​​​No. Oregon elections are secure and protected against voter fraud in all but exceedingly rare instances. In 2020, out of millions of votes cast, residents and local elections officials reported 140 instances of potential voter fraud. Of these 140 cases, four cases were referred to the Oregon Department of Justice and two of those are pending resolution.​

By comparison, in 2018 there were a total of 84 total reports of voter fraud. Two were referred to the Department of Justice. 

A review of the vote by mail system​ by the state’s Legislative Fiscal Office found from 2000-2019 there were approximately 61 million ballots cast. Of those, 38 criminal convictions of voter fraud were obtained. This amounts to a .00006% rate. ​

​​​Many counties no longer use secrecy sleeves and have been approved to switch to another secure method by the Secretary of State and as allowed by law. We still ensure that your ballot is secret with a return envelope that has a security weave printed inside, preventing information on the ballot from being visible to anyone while the envelope is in transit.

Every county in Oregon has procedures in place to ensure that authorized election staff, working in bipartisa​n teams, cannot see voters’ identifying information while opening return envelopes and separating the ballots. Each county has a specific workflow in place tailored to their building, equipment, and number of ballots typically returned.

The ballots — which contain no voter specific identifying information — are tabulated only after they are separated from the return envelopes.

These procedures ensure that your ballot is secret.

​​​​​​​In partnership with The News Literacy Project, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and Stony Brook University School of Journalism, Facebook released the below tips on how to spot false news online: 

  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  2. Look closely at the link. A phony or look-alike link may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the link. You can go to the site to compare the link to established sources.
  3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their "About" section to learn more.
  4. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs. Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from. 
  5. Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered. Check the evidence. Check the author's sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  6. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it's more likely to be true.
  7. Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story's details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
  8. Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible. ​


​​​​​​​​Oregon has the most convenient voting system in the country. Since adopting all vote-by-mail in 2000, Oregon consistently ranks as a national leader in voter turnout. 

Registered voters receive a ballot two to three weeks before an election, giving time to research issues or candidates.

Voters receive an official ballot to complete. Upon completion, the ballot may be placed in the optional security sleeve, the ballot (with or without the secrecy sleeve) is then placed into the envelope and signed by the voter before submission. The signature is compared to the voter’s signature on file in the state’s centralized voter registration system before it is counted. The ballot return envelope can be mailed or dropped off at any official drop box​ across the state. Availability of drop boxes with a map can be found on the elections website and each county’s website after ballots have been mailed to voters. Starting in 2022, if mailed close to election day, all ballots must be post-marked by the USPS by election day to count. 

If not put in the mail, all ballots must be delivered in a drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. ​​

​​​​We closely monitor our systems for suspicious activity and frequently test for vulnerabilities. Our staff are routinely trained on how to appropriately handle suspicious email and other threats to prevent unauthorized access or tampering. 

More specifically, we have programs, policies, and plans in place to address and mitigate security breaches. ​We work with partners such as: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) to ensure best practices are used to protect our elections and their supporting systems.​

We practice Def​ense in Depth​ with administrative, technical, and managerial security controls. Layers of security controls provide several ways of monitoring and responding to malicious access attempts to our systems. Any successful access to our system has been reviewed by multiple security checks and verifications.

We routinely perform threat analysis and risk assessments. Assessments are conducted by internal staff as well as contracted third parties. As a result, we continue to improve security processes and protections to maintain secure, private, and accurate election infrastructure.

​Preventative, Detection, and Response Measures

We use preventative, detection, and response measures including:​

Risk and vulnerability management
Network and endpoint security
Continuous monitoring of systems
Incident management and response planning
Routine security training​

Ballots are counted by machines, which are faster and more accurate than hand counts. Several steps are taken to ensure the accuracy of the count. First, the machines are tested and certified three times, well before, just before and after elections take place. Oregon's machines past federal lab tested certification and are tailored to Oregon's vote-by-mail system. Second, the machines are never connected to the internet and physical access to the machines is tightly restricted. Finally, Oregon has required post-election audits after each statewide election since 2008. In these audits, elections officials conduct a hand recount to verify that the machine count is accurate.​​

​​​Oregon Secretary of State and Oregon counties use Albert sensors to help protect their networks and improve election security.​​​ 

These sensors are specifically designed for state and local governments. They monitor network traffic and look for matches against known threats. Learn more about Albert sensors and see the agreements used by Oregon below.

About the Albert Sensor

Agreement 1, in use by Oregon State and Counties

​Agreement 2, in use by Oregon State and Counties​


​​Path of the Ballot​ Video

Ballot drop box outside building  
Wondering how your ballot gets counted?


Media Kits

Election Media Kits, Explainers, and Information on Vote by Mail

Voting System Information​​

Learn about the voting systems and vendors in use in Oregon >​