SALEM, OR -- Oregon's Secretary of State is calling for an investigation into a possible voter suppression effort. Robocalls are telling people they aren't registered to vote and that their ballot won't be counted. Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says if you received a ballot, you are registered. And, if your ballot is in to a county elections office by 8 p.m. Tuesday, your vote will be counted.
Bill Currier, head of the Oregon Republican Party, says the message was directed at Republican voters listed as "inactive," to get them to change their status before November 8 so they can vote. "That’s who we want to show up and vote."
But, the Democratic Party says the messages were not directed at specific voters and were received by active Democratic and Unaffiliated voters, causing confusion. "We are afraid that we are getting an indication of voter suppression," says Frank Dixon, head of the Democratic Party of Oregon.
Currier says, "It's kind of ludicrous to suggest that the Republican Party was trying to suppress the vote." The call was later changed to include that it was from the Republican Party. Robocalls are not illegal in Oregon.
Secretary Atkins has called for an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney for Oregon.