Should Oregon Study Internet Voting?

Feb 18, 2014

Oregonians could one day be able to cast their votes through the internet. An Oregon Senate panel Tuesday advanced a measure that would study whether the state should enact online voting. 

The Oregon State Capitol
Credit M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Oregon pioneered vote-by-mail in the 1990's and now some lawmakers say it's time to take a big technological leap into the 21st century. They envision a day when voters could use their PC's or smart phones to cast a ballot. For now, the bill moving forward would simply require the Oregon Secretary of State to study the feasibility of internet voting. A Senate panel approved the measure over the objections of some citizens who testified against it. Roxanne Ross of Gresham, Oregon said online voting would be an obvious target of hackers.

"We don't want to have our votes left to that kind of uncertainty. We would like to feel that our vote makes a difference" says Ross.

The debate comes at a time when two state government websites are having high-profile problems. An Oregon Secretary of State database suffered a suspected cyber-attack. And the state's health insurance exchange has still filed to enroll a single online applicant.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network.