CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS
Designating the Vote By Mail Manual
The Secretary of State designates the Vote by Mail Manual and associated forms, as the procedures for conducting all vote by mail elections. All vote by mail elections shall be conducted following the requirements of ORS Chapters 246 through 260 and the Vote By Mail Manual.
[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150,
254.465 & 254.470
Stats. Implemented: ORS 247 & 254
Hist.: ELECT 5-1989, f. & cert. ef. 8-16-89; ELECT 9-2003, f. & cert. ef. 9-3-03; ELECT 26-2003, f. & cert. ef. 12-31-03; ELECT 10-2007 f. & cert. ef. 12-31-07; ELECT 10-2012, f. & cert. ef. 4-24-12; ELECT 8-2015, f, & cert. ef. 12-11-15
Designating Ballot Request Forms
(1) The Secretary of State designates form SEL 111, Absentee Ballot Request Form, as the form an elector who will be away during an election, may submit to a county elections official to request an absentee ballot, except that if the elector is serving in the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marine or is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States, the elector must submit a Federal Post Card Application.
(2) The Secretary of State designates form SEL 111A, Absentee Ballot Request Form, as the form an elector who is 17 years old who will be away during an election may submit to a county elections official to request an absentee ballot, except that if the elector is serving in the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marine or is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States, the elector must submit a Federal Post Card Application. The elector will not receive a ballot until an election occurs on or after their eighteenth birthday.
(3) The Secretary of State designates form SEL 113, Provisional Ballot Request Form, as the form an individual whose eligibility as a voter is in question may use to request a ballot. The provisional ballot will not be counted until the individual’s eligibility is determined.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150, 254.465, 254.470,
Help America Vote Act P.L. 107-252
Stats. Implemented: ORS 247, 253.03 & 254
Hist.: ELECT 5-2006, f. & cert. ef. 4-18-06; ELECT 22-2009, f. & cert. ef. 12-31-09; ELECT 10-2015, f. 12-31-15, cert. ef. 1-1-16; ELECT 3-2016, f. & cert. ef. 7-6-16
Method of Calculating Total Eligible Voters for Property Tax Measure Elections
(1) The purpose of this rule is to assist county elections officials in calculating the total number of eligible voters for purposes of applying Article XI, section 11(8) of the Oregon Constitution. As provided in Article XI, section 11k, the turnout requirements do not apply to elections held in May or November of any year. For purposes of applying Article XI, section 11(8) of the Oregon Constitution and this rule, active registered voters are eligible voters, and inactive registered voters are not eligible voters.
(2) To calculate the total number of eligible voters within the district holding the election, county elections officials must:
(a) Determine the number of active registered voters as of the voter registration deadline in ORS 247.025. This is the base group of "registered voters eligible to vote."
(b) Add to the base group of "registered voters eligible to vote" any voter who is ineligible due to a change in residence address, or any inactive voter, who updates their voter registration as provided in ORS 247.307.
(c) Add to the base group of "registered voters eligible to vote" any voter determined to have been placed on the inactive list in error.
(d) Subtract from the base group of "registered voters eligible to vote," all voters who are determined during the particular election to be ineligible to vote, based on information received during the conduct of the election. These subtractions shall be made in the following manner:
(A) Subtract all voters who were mailed a ballot, which is returned as undeliverable, if the information on the returned envelope shows that the voter's residence address has changed, or that the voter is deceased.
(B) Subtract all voters for whom written information is received, other than a returned ballot, showing to the satisfaction of the county elections official that the voter is ineligible to vote.
(3) The information regarding eligibility used to make the calculations described in (2)(b) through (d) shall be made based on information received by the county elections official after the voter registration deadline in ORS 247.025 and not later than 8:00 p.m. on election day. Information received after that time shall not be used to calculate the total number of eligible voters for that election.
(4) The calculation of the percentage of accepted ballots to the number of eligible voters to vote on the measure for a particular election shall be not later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the election.
(5) A voter eligible to vote within the district holding an election subject to Article XI, section 11(8) of the Oregon Constitution will be considered to have an accepted ballot if the ballot has been returned to an elections office and the ballot is determined to be qualified to be counted (outer envelope contains signature of voter, signature matches the registration signature of the voter, no marks on outside of envelope which would cause ballot to be rejected). If these conditions are met, the ballot is "accepted" even if the ballot, when opened for counting, is determined to be deficient and is not counted, or if the voter does not vote on the particular measure at issue in the calculation.
(6) For purposes of determining voter eligibility in local elections, Appendix A of this rule will apply.
[ED. NOTE: Appendices referenced are available from the agency.]
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.120, 246.150, 254.465, 254.470 & Or. Const. Art. XI, Sec. 11(8)
Stats. Implemented: Or. Const. Art. XI, Sec. 11(8)
Hist.: ELECT 3-1997, f. & cert. ef. 2-25-97; ELECT 11-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-27-97; ELECT 12-1999(Temp) f. & cert. ef. 10-19-99 thru 4-14-00; ELECT 4-2000, f. & cert. ef. 2-4-2000; ELECT 9-2003, f. & cert. ef. 9-3-03; ELECT 8-2006, f. & cert. ef. 4-27-06; ELECT 16-2006, f. & cert. ef. 12-29-06; ELECT 7-2009, f. & cert. ef. 5-4-09
(1) The purpose of this rule is to establish a procedure for the conduct of administrative recounts of selected ballots following an election conducted in this state. The Secretary of State, as the chief elections officer for the State of Oregon, has the responsibility to adopt rules that the Secretary considers necessary to facilitate and assist in achieving a maximum degree of correctness, impartiality and efficiency in administration of the election laws. This rule is intended to carry out that responsibility by providing a mechanism for selective recounts to confirm the accuracy of the automated vote tally systems used to count ballots.
(2) The Elections Division may, between the 20th and 23rd day after the election, direct the county elections official to conduct a recount of an office or measure, or portions of the votes cast for an office or measure, as selected by the Division. Administrative recounts ordered under this subsection shall be directed only when unanticipated circumstances at the election put the accuracy of the vote tally equipment used in the county in question. Any such recount shall be conducted in accordance with applicable procedures in ORS Chapter 258 and as stated by the Division in the order directing the recount. All recounts conducted under this rule shall be conducted by hand. Administrative recounts of tally machines ordered under this subsection shall be limited to no more than 1,000 ballots in any one county. A Division order to conduct an administrative recount shall include a procedure for counties that process ballots by batch, rather than precinct. The procedure for "batch counties" shall avoid requiring the county to conduct an administrative recount of a specific precinct. Counties that process ballots by hand will be required to conduct a hand count and a machine count of randomly selected ballots and compare the results. Notwithstanding ORS 258.161, 258.280 and 258.290, the cost of conducting a recount under this rule shall be borne by the county in which the recount is conducted.
(3) Upon completion of the recount, and not later than 30 days after the election, the county elections official shall report on the results of the recount to the Division, together with any other information requested by the Division.
(4) A county elections official may choose to conduct an administrative recount of a selected office or measure and notify the Division of that decision in writing not later than the 23rd day after the election. In this event, the Division will not direct the county to conduct an administrative recount under the procedures of this rule. If the county elections official chooses to conduct an administrative recount under this section, the results of the recount must be reported to the Division not later than the 30th day after the election.
(5) The procedures described in this rule may be implemented only if a county is not required to conduct either an automatic recount under ORS 258.280 and 258.290 or a partial or full demand recount under ORS 258.161. In the event that a recount under either of these procedures is commenced, any administrative recount is terminated.
(6) Recounts conducted under this rule shall not be used to alter the results obtained by the official tally of ballots, unless the procedures in ORS 258.161 are followed to make a demand for recount, either by a qualified person or the county elections official.
(7) For purposes of this rule, an "administrative recount" is a hand recount of selected offices or measures by hand to verify the accuracy of the vote tally equipment. It is not intended to provide a basis for changing the outcome of the results determined by the vote tally equipment, or to substitute for the procedures in state law for the conduct of automatic or demand recounts. Persons interested in challenging the vote tallies in particular races or measures must utilize the procedures in ORS 258.161 and 258.171 in order to have the results of the recount become the official returns.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150
Stats. Implemented: ORS 258.150
Hist.: ELECT 8-2004, f. & cert. ef. 10-29-04
Spanish Language Ballots
A county elections official may choose to prepare and make available an official ballot translated into Spanish for any election. If a county chooses to prepare and make available a Spanish language official ballot the following procedures must be followed:
(1) Not later than the 70th day before any election the county elections official must notify the Division in writing of the official's decision to prepare and make ballots available in Spanish. The notice must include the method by which Spanish ballots will be made available to electors and the method by which those ballots voted and returned by 8pm on election night will be tallied.
(2) To guarantee consistency of translated material the county elections official must use the Secretary of State's certified vendor for translation; and
(3) The cost of translation must be paid directly to the vendor by the county.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150, 254.465, 254.470
Stats. Implemented: ORS 247 & 254
Hist.: ELECT 8-2005, f. & cert. ef. 12-14-05
Hand Count of Ballots at General Election
(1) This rule is adopted to implement hand counts of ballots counted by the vote tally system in the county at every general election as required by ORS 254.529. The hand count must be compared to the tally of votes produced by a vote tally system for the same ballots. The number of ballots that must be hand counted is dependent on the margin of victory between the two candidates in the same race receiving the largest number of votes in the county, as determined by the unofficial tally of ballots. Depending on the margin of victory, which will be determined by the results posted to the Secretary of State’s electronic reporting system, ORESTAR, as of noon the day after the date of the general election, either 10%, 5% or 3% of all precincts or of ballots in ballot count batches will be hand counted.
(2) For purposes of implementing ORS 254.529 and this rule:
(a) “Margin of victory” means the percentage difference between the first and second place candidates in a given contest. For a contest for state measure the “margin of victory” is the difference between the “yes” and “no” votes.
(b) “Precinct” means any precinct with registered voters.
(c) “Ballot count batch” means a subset of ballots which can be associated with a subtotal in the vote tally system.
(3) In order to assist the Secretary in selecting the election contests for which ballots are to be hand counted, the Secretary shall appoint three members, one of whom will be an expert in statistics, to the Secretary of State’s Hand Count Advisory Committee.
(4) Not later than 5 p.m. of the third business day after the date of the general election the Committee shall randomly select the election contests for which the county elections official is to conduct the hand count. The Committee shall randomly draw for each county to select:
(a) An office to be voted on in the state at large and state measure contests for which ballots are to be hand counted; and
(b) The precincts or ballot count batches in which ballots are to be hand counted. The same precincts or ballot count batches will be used to conduct the hand counts on all three election contests to be hand counted.
(c) If the randomly selected office to be voted on in the state at large is the same contest in the county receiving the largest number of votes between two candidates, another office to be voted on in the state at large will be randomly selected.
(5) Once the Committee has randomly selected the election contests and the precincts or ballot count batches in which ballots are to be hand counted, the Secretary of State will notify county elections officials. In addition to identifying the precincts or ballot batches to be hand counted, the notification will include the office to be voted on in the state at large, the state measure and the contest between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the county.
(6) Not later than the 5th business day after the date of the general election the Secretary of State will notify by first-class mail all affected candidates for selected election contests, chief petitioners or legislative sponsor of the state measure selected and any registered opponents of the measure.
(7) Members of the public may observe the hand count. The County Elections Official shall permit only so many persons as observers as will not interfere with an orderly procedure at the office of the County Elections Official.
(8) A county elections official may only begin the hand count after certification of the official results to the Secretary of State, but not later than the 21st day after the election. All hand counts must be completed no later than the 30th day after the election.
(9) If a comparison of the tally of votes produced by a vote tally system with the tally of votes produced by the hand count shows that the tally of votes produced by the vote tally system differs by no more than one-half of one percent of the total votes cast in the contest, from the tally of votes produced by the hand count, the hand count is complete and the county elections official reports the results as provided in subsection (11). If the difference exceeds one-half of one percent of the total votes cast in the contest, a second hand count is conducted as provided in subsection (12).
(10) Valid votes that have been marked by the voter outside the vote targets or using a marking device that cannot be read by the vote tally system shall not be included in making the determination whether the voting system has met the standard of acceptable performance for any precinct or ballot batch under ORS 254.529(8)(a) through (c).
(11) Upon completion of the hand count, but not later than the 30th day after the election, the county elections official must submit to the Secretary of State form SEL 798 detailing any difference and providing an explanation of the difference between the hand count and the tally of votes produced by the vote tally system in the county. Over votes and under votes are excluded from the totals on the SEL 798. Valid votes referenced in (10) of this rule, are to be listed as exceptions on the SEL 798.
(12) If after the first hand count, a second hand count is required to be conducted, the county elections official must again upon completion, but not later than the 30th day after the election, submit to the Secretary of State form SEL 798 detailing any difference and providing an explanation of the difference between the hand count and the tally of votes produced by the vote tally system in the county.
(13) If the county elections official is required under ORS 254.529(8)(d) to conduct a hand count of all ballots counted by the vote tally system, the county elections official not later than the 30th day after the election must certify to the Secretary of State and any other appropriate elections official an amended abstract of votes.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150
Stats. Implemented: ORS 254.529
Hist.: ELECT 9-2008, f. & cert. ef. 10-23-08; ELECT 23-2009, f. & cert. ef. 12-31-09
Facsimile Vote Secret Ballot Waiver Form
(1) The Secretary of State designates form SEL 531, Email or Facsimile Vote Secret Ballot Waiver Form, as the form to be used by a long term absent elector who is serving in or has been discharged for not more than 30 days from the Armed Forces or the Merchant Marine when casting a ballot using electronic mail or a facsimile machine.
(2) The ballot will not be counted unless the completed SEL 531 is received in the office of the county clerk not later than 8 pm on the day of the election, accompanied by a return identification envelope, transmitted by electronic mail or facsimile, containing the signature of the elector and the signature is matched against the signature on the elector’s most current voter registration card.
(3) County clerks shall incorporate into their Security Plan, required to be filed with the Secretary of State not later than January 31st of every year, methods for ensuring the secrecy of ballots cast using electronic mail or a facsimile machine to the greatest extent possible. Acceptable methods include but are not limited to:
(a) Using a separate dedicated electronic mailbox or facsimile machine with limited staff access;
(b) Assigning a dedicated employee to monitor the electronic mailbox or facsimile machine; or
(c) Adjusting the facsimile machine settings to store items until a set time, rather than automatically printing.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150
Stats. Implemented: OL 2009 Ch. 619 (HB 2511)
Hist.: ELECT 18-2009, f. & cert. ef. 12-4-09; ELECT 2-2012, f. & cert. ef. 1-3-12
County Elections Security Plan
(1) A security plan shall be submitted to the Secretary of State Elections Division, not later than the 31st of January of each year.
(2) Approved Security Plans will be valid from March 1 of each year through the last day of February of the following year.
(3) Any revisions to the plan must be submitted to the Secretary of State Elections Division not later than one business day after the revision is made, and at least 30 days before the first election date at which the revisions are to be used.
(4) The security plan and all supporting documentation are confidential and not subject to public disclosure.
(5) All ballots must be secured from their inception into the county’s computers, through final storage. This secure process must be followed through ballot reception, verification, inspection, scanning and tally of votes.
(6) The County Elections Official must include accountability procedures for ballots during the election process.
(7) During each phase of the process the County Elections Official must maintain an audit trail for all ballots, whether voted or unused.
(8) Copies of all security agreements with outside vendors must be submitted to the Secretary of State as part of the overall security plan.
(9) Upon receipt of the county security plan the Secretary of State Elections Division shall review the plan based upon the criteria in subsection (11).
(10) In order for a county to be permitted to scan ballots 7 days prior to the election pursuant to ORS 254.478, the county’s security plan must be approved in writing by the Secretary of State Elections Division.
(11) The Security Plan must include the following components:
(a) Ballot security at the printer;
(b) Ballot storage security;
(c) Ballot security during transport to inserter (if applicable), to the county, or to the post office;
(d) Ballot security during insertion;
(e) Ballot security at dropsites;
(f) Security of voted ballots awaiting verification;
(g) Security of voted ballots verified and awaiting inspection;
(h) Security of voted ballots opened and inspected;
(i) Facsimile ballot security;
(j) Ballot tally system;
(k) Early scanning procedure (if applicable);
(l) Preventing the premature release of vote tally; and
(m) Post election security.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150
Stats. Implemented: ORS 254.074 & 2009 OL Ch. 592 (HB 2451)
Hist.: ELECT 24-2009, f. & cert. ef. 12-31-09
Oregon Voting System Certification
(1) All voting systems submitted for certification pursuant to ORS 246.550 must be certified by the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) or be examined by a federally accredited voting systems testing laboratory (VSTL).
(2) A person or company applying for certification of a voting system in Oregon must submit a complete Oregon Voting System Certification Application to the Secretary of State.
(3) A complete Oregon Voting System Certification Application includes:
(a) Form SEL 675 which initiates the certification process;
(b) VSTL Test Report documenting, at a minimum that the voting system meets or exceeds the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines Version 1.0 promulgated by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in the following areas:
(A) Technical Data Package (TDP) Review. The TDP provides information that defines the voting system design, method of operation and related resources. It provides a system overview and documents the system's functionality, including, but not limited to, the version number of any proprietary software, firmware and hardware, if applicable, all commercial off-the-shelf software, firmware and hardware, and the system configuration as proposed for Oregon certification;
(B) Source Code Review. A voting system's source code is its operating instructions in the original programming language, which must be compiled or assembled into an executable computer program;
(C) System Integration. System integration tests focus on the functionality of integrated hardware and software components, internal and external system interfaces, usability and accessibility and security. Election management functions, ballot-counting logic and system capacity are also tested;
(D) Physical Configuration Audit (PCA). The PCA compares the voting system components submitted against vendor's technical documentation and establishes a configuration baseline of the software and hardware. The audit also includes witnessing the build of the executable system to verify that it matches the build in the documentation; and
(E) Functional Configuration Audit (FCA). The FCA is an exhaustive verification of every system function and combination of functions cited in the vendor's documentation and is used to verify the accuracy and completeness of the Technical Data Package. This portion of the testing process will also verify the accuracy of the counting logic for the system.
(c) Oregon Test Report, documenting at a minimum that the voting system adheres to the Oregon Voting System Certification Standards contained in Appendix 1, which is incorporated into this rule by reference and also:
(A) Confirms that the voting system presented is the same as the one certified by the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) or as the one documented in the VSTL test report submitted under (3)(b) of this rule;
(B) Establishes a baseline for future evaluations or tests of the voting system, such as state review after modifications have been made; and
(C) Define acceptance tests, if any.
(4) The cost of the examination by the VSTL and any additional testing necessary to produce the Oregon Test Report shall be paid by the person or company presenting the voting system for certification.
(5) Certification of the voting system by the Secretary of State may only occur once a complete Oregon Voting System Certification Application has been received and the contents reviewed and assessed. The Secretary of State may require the submission of additional information to complete the review and assessment of the voting system.
(6) Changes or modifications to a certified voting system must be reported in writing to the Secretary of State. Any changes or modifications will be reviewed by the Secretary of State and may require additional examination, testing or recertification.
(7) This rule applies to applications for certification submitted on or after the effective date of this rule.
[ED. NOTE: Attachments referenced are not included in rule text. Click here for PDF of this rule including attachments.]
Stat. Auth.: ORS 246.150
Stats. Implemented: ORS 246.550
Hist.: ELECT 6-2015, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-15; ELECT 7-2015, f. & cert. ef. 10-29-15
State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310