The Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division is committed to providing voters with accurate information about elections and elections administration in Oregon.
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.
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.
You can review them here where they are publicly posted for each county
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
, 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, there were 108 total reported instances of voter fraud by residents and local elections officials. Out of these, only one case was referred to the Oregon Department of Justice and one is 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 recent 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. Average Americans have a greater chance of being struck by lightning in their lifetime than being a victim of voter fraud (according to the National Weather Service).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
If you believe a violation of Oregon election law has occurred, you may want to proceed with a formal complaint with the Elections Division. Under
, complaints must be from an individual registered to vote in Oregon, and the complaint must be signed. Please note that communications with the Elections Division pertaining to your complaint are subject to disclosure under public records law.
Your complaint must be in writing, must be signed, and filed no later than 90 calendar days after the election at which the violation is alleged to have occurred or 90 calendar days after the violation itself is alleged to have occurred, whichever is later.
A complaint may be filed:
- electronically by scanning the complaint and any related evidence, attaching the scanned documents to an email, and emailing the scanned documents to
- send by mail to 255 Capitol St. NE Suite 501, Salem, OR 97310-1342. Please attach all relevant documentation with your complaint.
Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.
Thank you for your interest in upholding Oregon election law. More information regarding ORS 260.432 can be found under Manuals and Quick Guides
Oregon is a member of ERIC, a national voter registration sharing system. Each state submits private data such as date of birth and the last four digits of the Social Security number, which are protected using a cryptographic one-way hash and then transmitted to ERIC. An explanation of how the hashing process works, how it is used in the ERIC data matching process, and how privacy is protected is in the
Technology and Security Overview.
Each member state receives reports that show voters who have moved within their state, voters who have moved out of state, voters who have died, duplicate registrations in the same state and individuals who are potentially eligible to vote but are not yet registered. In addition, Oregon uses regular information from the DMV and the National Change of Address system through the USPS to keep the voter registration database as accurate as possible.
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.
Defense 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