Friday, May 27, 2016

Oregon Primary Voting

I live in Oregon, which held its primary about a week ago, on May 17th.

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state. They mail ballots to all the voters, about a month ahead of time. You need to fill out your ballot and send it back, before 8 PM on May 17th. You can either mail it directly to the county voting board, or drop it off at an authorized location, like the post office or public library.

It's a good system, designed to eliminate voter fraud, crazy caucuses and problems with poll places. It also comes with faster results! Every county released its results almost instantly, which is easy to do when half the ballots are turned in and processed weeks before the deadline.

What about all the ballots that came in on the last day? Well...um...they weren't reported in the news. And they never will be, because if the fiascos in Arizona and Nevada prove anything, it's that the AP refuses to update any of its vote counts with more accurate information. They stand by their original, rushed numbers.

How rushed? I dunno. Estimates say that about 7% of all the votes were turned in on the last day. So...enough to make a minor difference, but not enough to change the results. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both won the state in the landslide; Donald won everywhere, and Bernie won everywhere except Gilliam County. And he only lost that county by one vote. So outside of there, the 93% vote count should suffice.

Still. We have the Internet now. Up-to-date vote counts should be standard.

Most Oregon counties released their final results on May 24th, a week after election day. The REAL final results will come in mid-June, from the Oregon Board of Elections. If you want the real results before then, you'll just have to visit every county website and do the math yourself.

No comments: