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Cellphone voting

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Earlier this year, the Oregon State Legislature was considering adoption of bill HB 4136, which would have required the Secretary of State to establish a digital voting system allowing voters to cast their ballots electronically—via a computer, electronic tablet, cellphone, or another digital device.

The measure remained in committee and never came to a vote, but legislators may be planning to introduce a new version of the bill in next year's longer session.

Should you be happy or concerned about the prospect of cellphone voting?

Currently, over twenty pilot programs are in place across the country to test the feasibility of mobile voting. Proponents argue that cellphone voting could increase voter turnout, and voting from the comfort of your mobile phone sounds easy, right? But is it really a good idea?

Before giving this technology a stamp of approval, we need to consider some of the issues around the process of electronic voting. For example, is it secure? Does it protect voter privacy? And how would we verify election results?

Dr. Stephanie Singer and Sheila Golden have been focused on election systems for many years. Ms. Golden is well known in Oregon for her advocacy around election technology, while Dr. Singer is known nationwide for her expertise on election technology and processes. They'll join us this month to explore the pros and cons of voting via cellphone and will explain how such a system would work, who's behind the effort to adopt mobile voting, and why voting from our phones may or may not be a good course of action.

Bring your questions, and come learn how you can make your voice heard on this issue!

Please RSVP via Meetup or by sending an email to [email protected].

Speaker bios:

Sheila Golden is an activist focusing on election integrity, civil liberties/immigrant rights, and climate justice. She works with the League of Women Voters-OR and Scrutineers.

Stephanie Singer is a data scientist and former election official. She has assembled, analyzed and explained data for private business, public agencies, campaigns and election oversight. Her public service projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Knight Foundation. In 2020 she created the VoteVisualizer, a web app allowing users to explore election results from across the country. Her client list includes the Orange County Registrar of Voters and the nonpartisan nonprofit Verified Voting. She has advised elected officials across the country, including Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. From 2012-2016 she served on the Philadelphia County Board of Elections -- including one year as chair -- where she made data freely available, used data analysis to fight unconstitutional burdens on the voting process, and introduced "I Voted Today" stickers to all Philadelphia polling places. She won the post by defeating a 36-year incumbent in a citywide election. Singer co-chaired the statewide Election Reform Committee of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. Singer studied math and computer science at Yale and Stanford, completed a Ph.D. at New York University and earned tenure from Haverford College. She has written two books on mathematical physics.

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