Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
See Standard Disclaimer.
I decided to write to our Secretary of State on the below issue. I wrote not because of personal reasons but because I felt the rule of law needs addressed regarding our elections, in order for all candidates no matter what political affiliation they are to be able to trust that their candidates form, their vote, their rights are protected from those who would tamper or manipulate things associated with a free and honest election and election process.
October 17, 2017
We have had a problem with our elections department in Columbia County. The problem was with the democratic precinct committee person SEL 105 form after it was filed prior to the May 2016 election. The form was tampered with after it was correctly filled out and signed by the candidate and then accepted by the election office, it was tampered with by an outside individual.
The other individual who tampered with the official election document was Donna Nyberg Chairperson of the Columbia County Democrats. Ms. Nyberg asked the election department for the candidates form so she could change the precinct number and move the individual to another precinct. She crossed out the original number and then wrote in a precinct number of her choice. She did this without the consent of the candidate. In all rights the candidate would have had to fill out a form of withdrawal and then resubmit his new candidate form. She did this for a political favor to another couple who wanted to run together as a man and wife team. When the candidate received his ballot, he was not listed in his precinct; he then went to the elections department to find out why and discovered his form had been tampered with.
I am very disappointed with the State Elections who informed several of us who found the manipulation and illegal tampering of the candidates form an outrage, there was nothing they could do because there is no ORS which protects a precinct persons rights equally as the state protects other public candidates. I find it troubling that the ORS allows the election department to prosecute a public candidate or precinct candidate to the fullest if they falsify anything on their candidate’s form and the elections said they would, but nothing if someone tampers with the form after it is accepted by the election department. That is simply wrong and needs to be corrected.
I understand the 90 day statue of limitations has run out on this issue. I was informed that the individual who the offense was directed at should not have accepted his new ill-begotten precinct, by doing so I was told he then agreed to the manipulated spot. I do not agree with this assumption. Several of us tried to correct the problem in house for months, tried the State Elections who then told us to bring a law suit against the offending parties if we did not like what happened as there was nothing they could do. So a suit was filed in small claims court but it was in the wrong court as the individual suing did not want money only an omission that the chairperson did wrong and an apology to the CCDCC.
Some CCDCC persons feel the tampering with this election document is not an issue worth arguing about, I totally disagree. Some people do not understand the issue period. If nothing is done it could set a precedent of some type of election fraud in the future. The State Democratic Party said they will not step in local party issues. I feel this is not just a local party issue but a state election issue. I am a democrat but I find the Democratic Party of Oregon to be hypocrites. It does not matter to me which party tampered with the document, wrong is wrong, and some action needs to be taken. A person must take a stand on a particular issue popular or not if it could degrade our basic rights, even if it’s against one’s own party.
I feel that our elections should be protected from this kind of tampering. Even if you are the lowest of all candidates your candidacy should receive equal protection. Our elections are a fundamental building block of our democracy. When we allow even the tiniest infraction to this sacred right we are allowing the beginning of the breakdown of our democracy. And our democracy’s foundation is the very people who begin at the bottom as the building blocks, individuals such as precinct people.
Politicians wonder why voter turnout is low, why Americans are disconnected with their government it is because when they see an issue such as this go unaddressed they wonder…. is their elections valid and fair? I have lost confidence in our election system, now when I fill out my SEL 105 will my form be tampered with by whoever might want to change it, or can I be assured that my form and all election forms be regarded as worth protecting and be protected equally under the same rules and regulations.
The State Elections department has stated that this is outside of their jurisdiction, (ORS 260.715), (ORS 249.013), (ORS 249.170), (ORS 260.715(1)), and (ORS 248.015.) Chapters 246-260 and do not find any violation of election laws which would be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State through the Elections Division, and must be remedied through the local or state parties. That is like having the fox guard the hen house and with this issue it is apparent that is exactly and unfortunately what has happened.
When has election tampering become outside the jurisdiction of the State of Oregon? The statement from Oregon Elections that the Election department is just a handler and printer for the different political parties and their precinct elections, then if this is the case then why does the Clerk’s Office send an official certificate to each PCP who has won their race. Require a certain number of votes for the candidate to win their seat, fill out a candidates form, and the state requires accurate candidate information, divide up precincts by voter numbers. If this is not an official election then why bother with all the rules and regulations to begin with?
I hope you could help in this issue somehow. I know you want transparency in our government, and you believe in integrity as well. I believe on this issue there was a lack of integrity on the Democrats. I believe Ms. Nyberg should be held accountable so this kind of action never happens again.