Oregon Secretary of State Stands Up to Trump… Sort of

Oregon is among 44 states refusing to comply with a voter information request from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI). Some of those states agree with Mississippi, whose Secretary of State said PACEI could “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”  Others, like Oregon, may still partially cooperate.

The motivation for PACEI arose from Trump’s claim that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally last November, with the suggestion that many of those were undocumented immigrants. The vice chair of PACEI, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, also spearheaded the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, claiming that crosschecks would be used to prevent voter fraud. Beyond the obvious privacy concerns, the information could be used to suppress voting by minorities, much like voter ID laws.

Database consultant Mark Selund analyzed Crosscheck lists from Virginia and Georgia for Rolling Stone and found the most common names to appear were those of minorities like Washington (89% are African-American), Hernandez (94% are Hispanic), and Kim (95% are Asian).

In the associated article, Selund said, “I can’t tell you what the intent was. I can only tell you what the outcome is. And the outcome is discriminatory against minorities.”  

Oregon dropped out of Crosscheck in 2014 because, as former Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins told Rolling Stone, “The data we received was unreliable.”

Current Secretary of State Dennis Richardson responded to the request through a letter, touting our voting system as a reason that Oregon has no need to cooperate. However, Richardson ends that letter by suggesting PACEI do what everyone else does to get the names, political affiliations, and addresses of Oregon voters: pay $500 and fill out an online form. 

Granted, the end result of said process doesn’t include citizens’ voting history, felony convictions, military status, etc. that PACEI wants, but it could be enough to make unsupported crosscheck-like accusations against Oregon voters.

By Andy Hahn

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