Oregon looks into online voting

Oregon voters drop their ballots in an official drop box in downtown Portland (KOIN 6 News, file)
Oregon voters drop their ballots in an official drop box in downtown Portland (KOIN 6 News, file)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Two state senators are sponsoring a bill to require Oregon’s secretary of state to look into the feasibility of online voting.

Sens. Bruce Starr and Lee Beyer put the bill into motion. The arguments on both sides come down to this: those in favor say online voting will make it easier for voters and increase participation, but those opposed say online voting is not a secure way to cast a ballot.

Secretary of State Kate Brown — who’s office website was hacked recently — said that issue and the troubles with the Cover Oregon website would not necessarily deter looking into online voting.

“I think it’s important to start planning now for the future,” Brown told KOIN 6 News. “I think we’re talking literally some time after the 2016 elections cycle, so it feels like it’s a long time off. But we have to make sure we have the right technology in place, the right level of security. I think you have to start planning and preparing.”

So far, the bill is just in a committee hearing. There are many steps to go before the Oregon Secretary of State has to set up a study group for the issue.

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