Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB3291
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/HRULES/Overview
Hearing was held, contact committee members directly
This bill proposes -1 amendment allowing ballot returned by mail to be postmarked no later than the date of the election and received at the office of the county clerk not later than seven calendar days after the date of the election. Changes election date from the second Tuesday in September to fourth Tuesday in August.
All ballots need to be in the Elections office on Election day. We have up to 3 weeks to get the ballots into the elections office. We don’t need more time. But we do need to end collection of ballots at the end of election day. That will avoid someone trying to overcome an election result by producing ballots with a qualified postmark. This bill would open the door to fraud. There was a great deal of negative coverage of ballots being stamped with an inaccurate date so that the ballots would be counted in Michigan during the General elections for 2020. There is no reason to have this be a problem in Oregon. -1 also establishes requirements for return identification envelope to include signature of elector certifying that it was mailed no later than the date of election, and summary of penalties for knowingly making a false statement, oath, or affidavit under the election laws. If postmark is not legible, it’s considered received on time. Requires ballots returned by means other than mail to be received by 8 p.m. on election day. If a ballot is driven to the mailbox on election day, it can be drop at a drop box. This is an excuse to delay counts allowing for fraud. Authorizes Secretary of State (SOS) to establish by rule a procedure for announcing the status of the tally of the ballots received after the date of the election. Extends certain deadlines for county clerks and SOS after election. Allows county clerks to open return identification envelopes of ballots and any used secrecy envelopes of ballots upon receipt. Applies to elections held on or after January 1, 2022.