PORTLAND, Ore. — Registered voters in various counties in Oregon including Hood River, Clackamas, and Multnomah have received false text messages suggesting that thousands of ballots have not been counted since Election Day.
These claims assert that there are thousands of uncounted ballots due to signature issues and that the ballots’ votes will not be counted.
KGW wanted to Verify: Did Oregon counties send out texts alerting registered voters of uncounted ballots?
Multnomah County released a statement Nov. 12 saying that these texts were not sent out by the county.
"There are currently 3,032 ballots in Multnomah County that have been challenged for this election because of signature issues. Resolving the issues with challenged ballots is a normal step in every election and one that ensures every possible vote can be counted," the news release said.
While it may be true that Multnomah County does have thousands of challenged ballots, this does not mean that the votes will not be counted.
Voters whose ballots were challenged have been notified and have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, two weeks after Election Day, to cure their ballots.
Hood River released a tweet alerting county residents to the text scam saying: "The Hood River County Elections Office has received reports of messages similar to this being received by citizens. This did not come from any government source. Ballots that have signature issues are resolved by a letter being sent to the voter in question."
Again, these texts appear to have not come from any government sources. It is still unknown who is behind these text scams.
We spoke to Clackamas County Elections Manager Andrew Jones who confirmed that Clackamas County did not send out any such text to registered voters.
“The Clackamas County Clerk’s Office is aware that many voters are being sent messages from third-parties indicating that some ballots remain uncounted. In the entire county, out of 261,509 ballots processed, there are only 657 ballots with signature issues," Jones said.
Letters have been sent to all voters whose ballots have been challenged.
Ballots are challenged when the signature on the return ballot envelope does not match the signature on the voter’s registration or when the voter did not sign the ballot return envelope. Once these issues are remedied, the ballot’s votes will be counted.
Voters can cure their ballots and verify their votes by either signing and returning a new voter registration card with their updated signature or by returning a signed voter statement certifying their vote. If voters take these steps to cure their challenged ballots, their votes will be counted.
KGW can Verify: The texts received in various Oregon counties claiming that there were thousands of uncounted ballots were not sent out by the Countys’ offices as the texts claim. These texts are a scam.
Do you have something you want us to Verify? Let us know. Email us at Verify@kgw.com