In the midst of a hotly contested election season, when President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked voting by mail as rife with fraud, a Portland man allegedly attempted to earn some cash by selling his ballot.
Josiah Bridges purportedly offered to sell his ballot for $200. But his effort hardly cast doubt on the security of Oregon's vote-by-mail system. Bridges had just one taker: a law enforcement officer who was only willing to pay $115.
Bridges, 22, faces a class C felony charge in Multnomah County Circuit Court after completing the sale.
The plot, and its rapid unraveling, is described in an Oct. 22 probable cause affidavit filed by Tyler McCourt, a special agent with the Oregon Department of Justice.
Bridges put the ballot up on the online marketplace OfferUp as "a joke"—"he just wanted to be funny," McCourt says. Bridges' mother had made a joke about selling his ballot because he wasn't interested in casting a vote.
"Josiah advised that he didn't want to vote himself because he didn't care for either candidate," the affidavit states.
But joke or no, Bridges told law enforcement he was eager to complete the sale "for rent money," according to the affidavit.
Bridges met law enforcement officers in the Fred Meyer grocery store parking lot on North Lombard Street at 8:35 pm on Oct. 21, and other law enforcement officers confronted him immediately after the sale.
Bridges was wearing an ankle monitor in the Fred Meyer parking lot because he was out on bail on previous charges for burglary. He told the officers he was not aware that selling his ballot was illegal.
WW could not reach Bridges, and his court-appointed attorney did not immediately return a call on Sunday afternoon.