Did you receive an Oregon ballot, and then this week get an automated phone call telling you that your vote won't count?
Ignore the robocall. It's a fraud.
Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins today asked the Oregon Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate reports of automated calls telling registered voters that their ballots won't be counted.
"We are not sure who is behind these calls, but we take this type of voter suppression activity very seriously," said Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins. "There is simply no circumstance under which an Oregonian who has received a ballot should receive a call challenging their registration status. Get your ballot in by 8 p.m. Tuesday, and your vote will be counted."
The Secretary of State's office says it has received reports of voter-suppression robocalls from multiple county clerks. A Secretary of State's office spokeswoman was not available for comment on how many calls have been reported.
The office of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has not yet responded to WW's questions about whether it will conduct an investigation. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to the co-owner of WW's parent company.)
UPDATE, 3:43 pm: Ellen Klem, a director of outreach and education with the Oregon Department of Justice, tells WW that Rosenbaum's office has launched an investigation into the source of the robocalls.
"We are investigating," says Klem. "That's all I can say."
UPDATE, 5:30 pm: The Register-Guard in Eugene reports that clerks in nearly all of Oregon's 36 counties have received complaints about the robocalls—which appear to be causing widespread confusion across the state.
The Register-Guard reports that the calls include strange references to inactive registrations, the 2010 election and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley.
The calls appear to be coming from two phone numbers: one from the 541 area code and one from a Washington state area code, she said.
One robocall went to a Lane County government employee and was recorded on the employee’s voicemail. The county released a transcript of the message Friday afternoon.
“A review of voter registration records in Lane County indicate that your voter registration may have been marked inactive,” the call says. “This means you may not have received your ballot in the mail for next Tuesday’s election in 2010.”
UPDATE, 9:05 pm: The Oregon Republican Party says it sent out the robocalls—and says it intended them to reactivate voters who had let their registration become inactive.
State Republican Party Chair Bill Currier issued a statement tonight, saying state elected Democrats had mischaracterized the calls. "The polls have tightened significantly and a day of reckoning for our political opponents who have been running the state for 30 years is at hand," Currier said. "Of course they are going to dislike our efforts to get more Republicans voting and some may even go so far as to suppress our efforts to end their grip on power."
The GOP also released its script for the automated call. It appears to partially match the calls reported earlier today by The Register-Guard in Eugene.
Here's the script released by Republicans tonight.
"Voter registration records have been reviewed in your county and there is a possibility that you or someone in your household may have had their voter registration marked inactive. If you have not received your ballot yet, this may be the reason. The Oregon Republican Party wants you to be able to vote in next Tuesday's election. In the 2010 election, Republican Chris Dudley lost his race for governor by just over 1 percent. Last May, another Republican race ended in a tie vote, and was literally decided by a dice roll. Don't let our state's future be determined by a roll of the dice. You may be the deciding vote. Contact your county elections office immediately. By going directly to the elections office, you can reactivate your registration, pick up your ballot, and vote on the spot."