Panic, but not in Oregon

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

While the rest of the country frets about how to handle a the fall election if there's a terrorist attack, I'm feeling pretty good sitting right here in Oregon.

After all, we don't have a one-day election that requires everyone to go to centralized polling places. With vote-by-mail, and a three-week period to return ballots, the effect of an attack on Oregon's election would be much less than elsewhere.

If only the rest of the country knew what we know: vote-by-mail is just easier, more convenient, more friendly to working people, ... and a better safeguard against terrorists.

  • Isaac Laquedem (unverified)

    The people in the administration who are saying that the United States needs to have a plan ready in case terrorists attack and disrupt Election Day don't seem to understand quite how big America is (rather like JFK's advisors on the Bay of Pigs who didn't comprehend that not all islands are the size of Martha's Vineyard).

    Let's suppose that terrorists attack the day before Election Day. Most of Oregon will have already voted -- we vote by mail. If they attack in two states, then 48 other states can still conduct their elections unhindered.

    States run the elections. The question is whether each state is sufficiently prepared to conduct or reschedule an election if terrorist attacks (or anything else, such as a tornado) interfere with the state holding its elections.

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    Well, the truth is that this conversation began when the head of the Election Assistance Commission suggested that the government need to think about the potential confluence of an election and an attack. In and of itself, that's not a wrong question to ask. And I would assume that the head of that Commission understands how elections work.

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    Er, Kari, back east where people are not nearly as naive as Oregonians are about official corruption, the major potential for fraud under vote-by-mail puts it out of the question.

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    Jack, put another way: Back East, official corruption is a real concern. Out here, it's not.

    OK, so that's a bit pollyanna-ish. But there's something to it. Oregon's progressive citizen-oriented political culture (like Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Maine) has historically been much less likely to have machine politics, high-level corruption and graft, and the like.

    <h2>And yes, I do know about Portland's 1950s history (albeit from Phil Stanford's irregular series) - but it still seems much smaller than the profound historical corruption of Philly, Chicago, New Orleans, and most of New Jersey.</h2>

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