Voters find wrong party affiliation on Oregon registry

Voter registration deadline for Oregon primary is April 26

In this May 12, 2011, file photo, the Oregon Capitol is shown surrounded by spring blossoms in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)
In this May 12, 2011, file photo, the Oregon Capitol is shown surrounded by spring blossoms in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Voter registration errors aren’t just occurring in states like Arizona and New York. Some Oregonians claim their party affiliation recently changed on the state’s digital registry, and they don’t know why.

Drivers line up to drop off ballots outside Multnomah County election headquarters. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Drivers line up to drop off ballots outside Multnomah County election headquarters. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Elections Director Jim Williams says 120-150 voters are calling the Secretary of State’s office every day to complain about errors in party affiliations.

Carolyn Sue Coulter tells KOIN 6 News she has been a registered Republican for the past 38 years. But when she checked her voter registration online this week, she realized that was no longer the case.

“For some reason they decided this year I’m a Democrat,” Coulter said.

She immediately took to Facebook to let her friends know what happened.

“I posted it on my Facebook saying, ‘Hey, you might want to check this out,'” Coulter said. “I’ve had 30 people so far say they’ve found they were registered incorrectly.”

Check your voter registration information

Williams says the Secretary of State’s office can trace voter registration records, and in cases like these, they typically find some type of voter error.

“Our Oregon Elections Division is unique in that we keep a record if any change is made,” Williams said. “Not only when, but why. We also make a digital image of when that person made the change.”

He checked Coulter’s record and found she filled out a voter registration card back in 2004. She says she may have mistakenly checked the Democratic Party box, thinking she was crossing it out. But she’s been a registered Democrat ever since.

“A lot of voters [are] unaware of what their party affiliation shows,” Williams said.

In other states, figuring out what’s behind party affiliation switches hasn’t been so easy. Countless people were turned away at the polls in Arizona due to discrepancies.

There’s still time to check your voter registration and correct it before April 26.

 

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