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Lawsuit to overturn vote-by-mail procedure appealed

On November 4, 1998, VIP and four Oregon voters filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oregon to overturn the state's new vote-by-mail procedure. The procedure allows any voter to vote by mailing in a ballot up to three weeks before the election date.

As we've seen in the Miami mayoral election, absentee ballot fraud is exceptionally easy to perpetrate. That is why any change in voting system which increases voting by mail or extending voting timeframes is an invitation to fraud.

That is why it is extremely important that the voting system has strong safeguards against fraud. Oregon's vote-by-mail system does not have safeguards in place that are strong enough, and a voting system which encourages the electorate to vote entirely by mail is an invitation to fraud.

VIP's lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge on March 24, 1999. The judge expressed skepticism during oral arguments that there was any threat to election integrity and took the position that the vote-by-mail-only program initiated by Oregon was not violative of federal election day, ruling that "federal election day" is the day the ballots are counted -- not the day voters exercise their franchise. However, we have appealed and oral arguments are scheduled for September 13 in Portland.

Check this web site for regular updates on the Oregon case.

Articles & Press

  • 9/9/99 Oregonian article about VIP appeal *
  • 3/24/99 article from the Oregonian *
    Judge dismisses case.
  • 3/17/99 article from the Oregonian *
    The pending legal battle.
  • 11/29/98 article from The Washington Post
    Early voting isn't what it used to be.
  • 11/4/98 Press Release
    Detailing our lawsuit to end vote-by-mail practices.

    * Off-site link.

Copyright 1998 Voting Integrity Project. All rights reserved.
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