BEND, OR -- Secretary of State Dennis Richardson was willing to comply with the recent Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity issued to all the States by the Trump Administration, but unwilling to share information that could compromise individual privacy.
Secretary Richardson told KBND News. "The Federal requirement for information on Oregon voters said, 'We would like to have whatever information you legally can disclose and that you give to anybody else,' and they've committed to us that personal information will not be disclosed, so we just complied with the law while protecting the privacy of Oregon voters."
Richardson says in this uncertain world, it's an imperative for him that he does his job right. "I can't deal with the things I can't control, but as Secretary of State, I can make sure that whatever's under my supervision, is handled in a way that protects the rights and privacy of the people."
Secretary Richardson says due to his research on privacy disclosures as he complied with this federal request, Oregon's legislature is taking a second look at what should be available to political parties and the public. He also says that our paper ballots actually keep our information more private than that of voters in many other states. "Voter fraud in Oregon is very difficult to accomplish because you can't hack paper ballots, it's all done without the Internet involved. The first time the Internet is used is when they're actually turning in the count on the various races on election night. So, we've got a tabulation system that's worthy of emulation by other states."
Richardson says he waited to comply with the order until he knew that there would be no privacy concerns. "The law says that as long as you don't use it for commercial uses, then you have a right to have it as part of public transparency. And so, I'm complying with the law, but also making sure that we don't disclose too much because of the ability computers have now to do digital analytics and so forth now, and so we have actually given out less than what was previously given out by other Secretaries of State."
The President's Advisory Commission is collecting information from each state in an attempt to compile statistics on alleged Voter Fraud.