Letters to the Editor: May 31, 2024

Safe and secure

For the past 16 years, through five presidential elections now, I have served the office of the Yamhill County clerk in every position in the processing of ballots.
Currently I am part of a team of two daily collecting ballots from drop boxes across the county and from the post office. We work in teams with opposing party registrations.

I have seen many changes for the better — improvements in security, accuracy and efficiency to our already excellent vote-by-mail ballot system. However, today we live in difficult times.

In addition to the ever-present emphasis on oath-driven individual integrity, honesty, diligence, accuracy and adherence to procedure, we now have to be trained in defusing difficult situations, evading conflict and coping with threats of violence.

We now have to carry NARCAN nasal spray, in addition to gloves, masks and sealable plastic bags, in preparations for ballots contaminated with dangerous substances. And we have to change our pickup schedule periodically so we cannot be stalked by troublemakers.

Ballot processing takes place behind locked doors, with observers monitoring video of workers at their tasks. Law enforcement presence is frequent, especially on Election Day.

It is sad evidence of the developing civil discord and discourtesy in our society. Yet it is also a happy recognition of an adaptive voting system of dedicated individuals collectively getting the job done correctly for all citizens — whatever it takes.

Next time somebody claims the voting system in Oregon is “rigged,” please do me a favor. Shake your head and laugh at that person’s lack of understanding.

Ken Dollinger



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