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Some Deschutes County voters say their ballot lists wrong party affiliation

(Update: Adding video, comments from Deschutes County clerk, voters)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some Deschutes County voters say they found the wrong party affiliation listed on their ballots in the mail. 

Oregon has used the vote-by-mail system since 1996, and residents have received their May 19 primary ballots in the mail in recent days. 

Now, there are some people expressing concerns and claiming their listed party affiliation was changed without their prior knowledge or approval. 

Deschutes County clerk Nancy Blankenship told NewsChannel 21 when asked about one such complaint, "We only take instructions from what the voter tells us. Mistakes do occur, but we take precautions to limit those as much as possible."

Blankenship said Tuesday the county clerk's office accidentally put the wrong ballot in the wrong envelope for two people.

“We want to own up to that," Blankenship said. "It wasn't that they had a wrong party, it was just we made a mistake. But all the other calls we’ve been fielding is people forgetting what party they registered with.”

Blankenship said she received several calls from people who said the last time they registered a party was in the late '90s or early 2000s.

"If we made a mistake, we want to correct that," Blankenship said. "If you're under the impression we sent you the wrong party ballot, we want to verify either 'Yes, we did,' or 'No, we didn't.'"

She said the county clerk's office can also send screenshots of people's past voter records.

Jody Logsdon of Redmond said she was registered as non-affiliated for years, until changing her registration to Republican in 2008. She said when she checked online, she noticed her party had been changed back to non-affiliated. She said she changed it back to Republican online, but still received a non-affiliate ballot in the mail.

It's not just residents of Deschutes County claiming they received the wrong ballots in the mail.

Jessica Maxfield-Walters, who lives in the La Pine area and is registered to vote in Klamath County, told NewsChannel 21 she had a similar experience.

“I checked online afterwards, and it said I was unaffiliated, which was weird," Maxfield-Walters said. "I thought when you change your party, you get a card in the mail, and I never got a card in the mail."

Maxfield-Walters said she is not going to vote in this election because she does not feel it is right to vote under a party she did not willingly register with.

Blankenship said it's important for voters to look through the Voters' Pamphlet to keep track of important deadlines.

The deadline to change party affiliation in Deschutes County was April 28.​ Voters who wish to vote in the Democratic or Republican closed primary elections need to be registered as a member of that party by the deadline. 

However, Blankenship said it is not too late to update registration information, if people have moved and changed their mailing address. She said people can contact the county clerk's office directly to request a new ballot.

You can check the status of your voter registration online and make any updates to your information. The last day to send in your ballots is May 19.

For more information about the Oregon voting process, visit the Deschutes County clerk's office website.

Author Profile Photo

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

40 Comments

  1. not a fan of the Dem machine either, but the good old GOP has spent so much time, energy, and money pursuing voter suppression and misinformation in the guise of “protecting the security” of the electoral process that nothing is surprising any more – at least vote by mail has a paper trail, of sorts – Russia, are you listening?

      1. prominant members of the party itself have admitted it, as has Trump himself – but you choose to come after me – you are so brave!

    1. Yes. An ID to prove your identity is so racist and suppressive. All those liquor stores, airline TSA lines, and pharmacies are so racist and suppressive requiring IDs.

      1. hey Joe – maybe you are not old enough, but this country somehow did just fine without those sorts of trojan horses up until now – please tell me that you believe in the “wide spread voter fraud” along with all the other boogy men they have fed you – you have got to be one of the most intellectually lazy jockeys to ever mount a keyboard – carry on

        – you seem to enjoy that word “racist” ‘cus you sprinkle it all over everything like fairy glitter- what’s up with that?

        1. You clowns throw out “racist” at every opportunity and at every thing. Especially when it comes to voter ID. You have such contempt for American who are black you believe they are incapable of obtaining an ID. And vote fraud has been discovered and prosecuted all over the nation. Generally favoring democrats. It is easily available information but you won’t look it up.

          1. ok Joe – here is a challenge for you – find any place anywhere that i have ever used the word racist – go ahead – you are so used to mindlessly flapping your pie hole – – you see, it is a stupid word for stupid people – if you ever want to be smarter than you presently are, may i suggest looking into the creation of the human construct of “race” – “you clowns” have used forever, even though it is nothing but a contrivance of your feeble minds – yes you mistreat and look down upon people who are darker than you, have different stuff than you between their legs, speak differently than you, commune with their creator in a different way than you, love different people than you, eat different food than you, know more than you – despite all your groovy master race, eugenics, “them” behavior it only exists in your fevered thought process – the human genome project proved definitively that there is no empirical basis for your sick concept of “race” – like it or not, we are all just one big family, and no Joe, you are not a racist, because there is no such thing as race – you are just a delusional bigot

            1. Your evidence? None. Mine? Endless media clips of democrat progressives claiming any and all vote integrity laws are racist. Democrat progressives don’t even call Americans who are black Americans. They are hyphenated “Africans” first and Americans second.

              1. And they don’t get it – even when a black American says “I am an American, I am not an African anything”

                And for those of you that need a link – look up Candace Owens

    2. And what those actions are exactly, voter ID? I think the US is the only country in the developed part of the world where you can actually vote without an ID.

      1. what you “think” is of no consequence – it is so easy to find out definitively that your statement is completely vacuous, but you choose to post what you “think” instead making the tiny effort to check, and post what is actually true – why?

  2. Hmmmm. Russian interference in 2016 and 2018 elections confirmed by FBI, advising those in charge that it is happening again in 2020. Now issues with vote-by-mail ballots after POTUS discredits the authenticity… coincidence? Spurious Correlation? Where’s the tinfoil hat brigade to hop on this conspiracy? Oh, right, too many facts…

    1. The Obama FBI that let it all happen? That FBI??? How could it be with Obama’s FBI allowing the Russians to cheat Hillary out of her coronation? You guys stick to your guns at least even after proven wrong.

      1. You give the previous administration too much credit. A Republican held Senate and House couldn’t pass election security legislation because it was/is in their interest to elect a buffoon that sews divide that you blindly fall for under any circumstance. “It is easier to fool a person than convince them that they have been fooled.” It is widely known that the majority of our country is Democratic, and the only tactic Republicans have is voter suppression and election/voter fraud, including allowing hostile countries to interfere.

        1. FBI is under the control of the executive branch. Obama allowed it. He owns it. It didn’t change the outcome regardless because Hillary is horrible. But if it helps you sleep keep believing it was all a dozen Facebook trolls that cheated you.

    2. this nonsense Russian interference’ is nothing more than social medial propaganda, harmless as it did not affect anyone’s vote. It’s just the pathetic go-to excuse y’all use for LOSING

  3. Nancy – you might be right but too much of the info is coming at your computer system without your knowledge. Anybody who has been paying any attention as seen the recommendations over the last few months to check your registration status and confirm its accuracy – especially if you have visited a DMV office since last election. I actually got two ballots one year because of that, and I have heard of several who found their information had been changed and they did not know why or how. It is interesting that the ballots are not accurate – wonder why that might be?

  4. Received Ballot few days ago, due to above ‘wrong party affiliation??? went in to confirm and guess what…says we are NOT in the system registered to vote…huh??…sooo…who knows ‘who’ gets counted??? and ‘how’do we know anything…

  5. Count me as one of those too. Wrong party. Didn’t even give me anything to vote on. Seriously? More evidence we the people are moving in the wrong direction.

  6. Nothing new to me . . . That happened to me several elections ago. Mine was changed from “Non-Partisan” to “Libertarian”. I had to go and change it to “No Party”, as Non-Partisan was no longer a choice. I still bothers me that so many Oregonians think “Non-Partisan” means “Libertarian”, that the state had to make changes to the party affiliations.

  7. “We only take instructions from what the voter tells us. Mistakes do occur, but we take precautions to limit those as much as possible” Well apparently that is something else they can blame on COVID. On one of our local FB groups we got many complaints about wrong ballots. I have been registered as a republican for years. Have not moved for 32 years. I went to look at my info on the site and somehow I was listed as Constitutionalist. Last year the information on the ballot was correct. I was listed as a republican. Not ONCE have I ever requested a party change. What the hell is going on?

    1. Maybe they are having a hard time defining “Republican” . . . so they’re changing some to “Constitutionalist”? Have you been vocal in regards to Constitutional issues? If so, that might explain their rational.

      1. #1 I haven’t ben any more vocal than any other republican. #2 If that is what the county is doing, they don’t have the right too. Unless because of this socialist lean we are heading for, they think they do.

  8. This was a problem last year with the first recall attempt — Many people that came to sign were very surprised that their party affiliation had been changed somewhere along the line. Certainly makes you concerned for the integrity of the whole system.

  9. Called my sister to tell her about this. She went to the website and they had changed her party from Republican to No Party. Needless to say she is not very happy about it.

  10. Obviously the State Elections Board needs to investigate this, but that’s like calling the cops on the cops. If this is what’s going on and primarily to the republicans, then there needs to be a march on her office and demand her job

  11. Rigged system! Anyone with half a brain cell knows the parties don’t matter, voting doesn’t matter, and Putin calls the shots anyway…

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