OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE VISITS COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICE
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown paid a visit Tuesday to the Clatsop County Clerk and Elections office to see the department’s ballot-processing for the Nov. 8 special primary election – and to try out a new service for voters with special needs.
Brown visited all five Oregon counties taking part in the election, which will pick a Democratic and Republican candidate for the vacant District 1 Congressional seat. The two winners will face off in a special general election Jan. 31, 2012.
Because the contest involves only five counties, the state has picked the election for a pilot project utilizing iPad portable computers to assist voters with limited visibility or other issues causing them difficulty filling out their mail-in ballots. An election worker brings the device to the voter, who calls up his or her ballot, taps the screen to make a selection, then prints out the ballot on a portable printer. The ballot can then be mailed to or dropped off at the elections office.
Oregon Elections Director Steve Trout, who accompanied Brown on Tuesday’s visit, said multiple attachments and apps, including screen readers, are available to make the devices usable for as many people as possible.
If the service proves successful, the state elections office will make the devices available to all 36 counties.
For more information on voting through the new pilot project, contact the Election Division at (503) 325-8511.
Brown noted that she won her first race for the Oregon House of Representatives by seven votes – “that shows the importance of voting.”
Ballots for the special primary election, which went out only to registered Democrats and Republicans, must be received at the Clatsop County Elections Division by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. For more information go to www.co.clatsop.or.us
PHOTO CAPTION: Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (right) tries out the new iPad voting service with Clatsop County Clerk Maeve Kennedy Grimes during a visit Tuesday, Nov. 1.
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