I love how our state pioneers cool and awesome stuff, especially around voter engagement and access.
Voters in five counties are filling out and returning their mail-in ballots for a Tuesday special primary election to replace former U.S. Rep. David Wu, who resigned following a sex scandal. A handful will mark their ballots not with a pen but with the tip of their finger.
It's the latest attempt at using new technology to help voters with disabilities cast ballots privately.
Armed with iPads and portable printers, county election workers are going to parks, nursing homes, community centers and anywhere else they might find groups of voters who have trouble filling out traditional paper ballots.
Using the iPad, disabled voters can call up the right ballot and tap the screen to pick a candidate, with or without the help of election workers. The voters then print the completed ballot and stuff it in an envelope to sign, take with them and drop in the mail or an official ballot box.
Just as with vote by mail, there will be usual nattering nabobs of negativism who will inevitably screech about vote fraud and pressuring vulnerable people/populations to vote a certain way. And it will be just as unfounded as when they say it around vote by mail. Those arguments are about voter suppression, not about making sure that people can vote fairly and easily.
This is a wonderful innovation that makes it easier for people to vote. Yay Oregon!