Oregon senator calls on his state to address 'insecure' online voting

Oregon senator calls on his state to address 'insecure' online voting
© Greg Nash

Oregon Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats release data showing increase in 'mega-IRA' accounts MORE (D) is calling on the state's secretary of State to work with him to address threats he said are posed by allowing some residents to vote via “insecure” electronic methods. 

“We share a common goal of making it easier for Oregonians serving in the military or otherwise living overseas to vote,” Wyden wrote in a letter Thursday to Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno. 

“I look forward to working with you to explore ways to do so, including, if appropriate, introducing federal legislation to provide states with additional resources. However, the security and integrity of Oregon’s elections must always come first,” he added. 


Oregon is one of 24 states that permit overseas and military voters to return marked ballots over the internet. 

Wyden said the methods pose threats to secure elections. He cited concerns laid out by cybersecurity experts in a 2018 National Academy of Sciences Report, which he urged Clarno to share with local officials across the state. 

“Russia’s 2016 campaign to meddle in our elections demonstrated the urgency of states doing everything in their power to secure Americans’ votes from hacking,” Wyden said. “Continuing to permit the use of internet voting — against the advice of cybersecurity experts — is simply asking for trouble.” 

Andrea Chiapella, a spokesperson for Clarno, said the department does not intend to "do anything further on this" at this time. 

"As always, we are anxious to make sure our military and overseas voters are given ample opportunity to participate in the democratic process back home," Chiapella said in a statement. 

Wyden’s push for Oregon to address online voting methods comes after the disastrous Iowa caucuses on Monday, which has still yet to declare a winner with the state Democratic Party blaming issues in part on an app that was being used to report results.

On Thursday, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said the party identified “inconsistencies in the data” and was using paper records to “promptly correct those errors.”