Today, November 3, Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner provided the following message to our community:
Previously released October 23, 2020:
The City of Eugene is preparing for a safe Election Day and post-election security. Chief Chris Skinner has issued this statement: “Election Day, November 3, is approaching, and we are well aware of speculation and anxiety nationwide and locally about the potential for unrest. We understand the variety of potential outcomes and will be here in any scenario to serve our community and provide safety. While for security reasons we can’t provide specifics, we want to let you know we will be vigilant in protecting each of our community members or visitors. As election day approaches, we have made sure our officers are aware of ballot drop box locations and collection protocols. We will have additional staffing available during the entire week should there be any civil unrest or attempts to interfere with ballot drop off locations. On top of this, please remember that as members of this community we are all alike responsible for providing a safe environment for residents and guests and can do much to maintain civility and a safe space. I have great confidence in our community to ensure people feel safe and welcome to exercise their right to vote.” Please report suspicious activity involving drop boxes by calling 911 or the non-emergency line 541.682.5111. The State of Oregon Attorney General has opened a Voter Protection Hotline at Oregon DOJ at 971-673-4111 (dial 711 for Oregon Relay). Voters with non-emergency questions or concerns can call the Voter Protection Hotline and/or find more information including a one-page flyer online at www.doj.state.or.us/vote. The flyer is available in English, Spanish, and Russian, and the Chinese and Vietnamese translations are coming to the website soon. The Voter Protection Hotline utilizes Language Link for interpretation in 240+ languages. Questions and Answers: Can people block access to election offices or dropboxes? NO. ORS 260.695(3) provides that a person may not obstruct an entrance of a building in which ballots are issued or a place designated for the deposit of ballots. This is effective October 14, 2020 through the election. Call 911 if someone is blocking access to an election office or dropbox. Can people ask to see your ballot or ask how you intend to vote at a dropbox or election office? NO. ORS 260.695(6) provides that a person, (except an election official) may not ask a person at any official dropbox or voting booth for whom that person intends to vote, or examine or attempt to examine the person’s ballot. Call 911 if someone is intimidating you at an election office or dropbox. Can people campaign or have political signs or buttons or shirts near an official dropbox? YES. ORS 260.695(2) may prohibit electioneering near an election office but does not include dropboxes in that prohibition unless they are within 100 feet of an election office. Can people campaign or have political signs or buttons or shirts near an election office? UNCLEAR. ORS 260.695(2) prohibits electioneering near an election office. OR Attorney General Opinion 8292 analyzes whether ORS 260.695(2) violates Article I, section 8, of the Oregon Constitution. They conclude that it likely does. In 2019 the legislature was presented with this opinion and declined to remove ORS 260.695(2) from the statutes.