Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/SB861
The state would cover the cost of mailing back ballots, which could top $3 million over a two-year period, which will increase half-million in 2020 with a Special election. A “business reply mail” means a mailing service allowing a preaddressed return identification envelope to be mailed by an elector without charge, with the state paying the mailing fee for a return identification envelope that is returned by United States mail but not for a return identification envelope that is not returned by United States mail. How much a business is charged depends on how many are returned and the package the company purchased through the US Post Office. The state already supplies an envelope to 2,749,422+ voters. There has been 26 to 32% of 1,914,922 ballots using drop boxes – that leaves around 1,340,445 mailed ballots or about $549,582 for postage. The idea is to increase ballot returns, but there isn’t an out cry for not having the postage. It will make it easier for fraudulent ballots being returned.
Authorizes Secretary of State to require ballot return by method other than business reply mail, if Secretary determines that alternative method is more cost effective or efficient. Opens the door to computer voting without specific legislature approval and public input that is vulnerable to easy manipulation and fraud.