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10 priorities in my first 90 days

As we start to get closer to what I pray is bending of the Coronavirus curve, and as we get closer to the May 19 primary, I keep getting asked, “So what will you do?”

I have spent months with my team and technology experts looking at the unique responsibilities and requirements of the Secretary of State’s office. This, plus my 20 years of working on these issues, have helped me develop an agenda for my goals in the first 90 days.

It may look aggressive and optimistic. But this is how big things are accomplished.

MY FIRST 90 DAYS

CREATE AN OFFICE OF ELECTIONS CYBERSECURITY

My first priority will be to establish an Office of Elections Cybersecurity that will focus solely on improving and securing Oregonians’ voting rights in the digital sphere. This office will have three main duties.

First, it will develop more secure firewalls to protect the registered database of 2.8 million Oregon voters. The current system is technologically vulnerable, and Oregonians need assurances I voter registration will not be hacked, lost, or tampered with. We can’t afford to put voters at risk with outdated technology.

Second, we need to update our popular vote-by-mail process by improving voting audits and creating digital receipts for Oregon voters.

STOPPING ELECTION DISINFORMATION

The Cybersecurity office will combat election disinformation by proactively monitoring websites and social media posts for false election information. The truth should never be a casualty in an election. This office will put social media companies on notice that Oregon will not tolerate disinformation campaigns targeting our citizens.

SAME DAY VOTER REGISTRATION

I will lead the effort to end the 21-day registration cut off before the election. As many other states have found, registration can be completed, validated, and verified right up until election day. This will help thousands of Oregonians every year who cannot vote because they changed I address.

COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT OF STUDENT SUCCESS ACT

The Student Success Act is expected to bring in $1 billion per year to invest in Oregon’s schools. I will ensure that this money is distributed to school districts according to law and that schools are creating and following performance metrics in line with the Act’s standard. Auditors will review success plans for students who have been historically underserved to make sure that all students are being supported in educational growth. I will also ensure that schools are meeting the career and technical education standards established by the High School Success fund established by Measure 98.

Additionally, I will implement a formal assessment of the Corporate Activity Tax to ensure adherence to the Department of Revenue’s rules and statutory framework.

DEVELOP A NEW AUDITS PROTOCOL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Starting with my first day in office, I will mandate that audits analyze carbon emissions and climate change whenever relevant. Additionally, auditors will evaluate each agency’s and agency contractor’s climate plan to determine how they are reducing the carbon emissions of I operations.

PROTECT PUBLIC RECORDS

I will push to restructure the office of the Public Records Advocate to make it more independent and less susceptible to outside influence. The Advocate should be hired by the Public Records Council—not the governor or any other elected official. I will recommend that the Secretary of State Archives Division house the Advocate, consistent with state recordkeeping activity.

IMPLEMENT RANKED-CHOICE VOTING

To improve voter agency and choice, I will appoint a liaison to assist counties who choose to adopt Ranked-Choice Voting and an advisory board for statewide Ranked-Choice Voting proposals.

PROMOTE OPEN PRIMARIES

Non-affiliated voters now make up 41% of the electorate, and that number will only continue to grow. These voters deserve a voice in our state primaries. I will formally meet with officers of Oregon Democrat and Republican parties to request they open the 2022 primary elections to non-affiliated voters.

ESTABLISH A CHILD PROTECTION OMBUDSMAN OFFICE

The State of Oregon has routinely neglected children who are placed into state custody. It has often failed to protect children or provide adequate support for families, foster care providers and child protective services workers.

To change this troubled history, I will create a Child Protection Ombudsman Office within the office of the Secretary of State. The ombudsman’s responsibility would be to ensure the safety of Oregon’s children and create meaningful oversight of the child protection system. By housing the office outside of the Department of Human Services, the ombudsman could act free from conflicts of interest. The ombudsman would conduct systemic investigations of complaints, issue public reports, and provide impartial and unbiased oversight of the welfare of children who are in state custody.

SUPPORT ADDICTION SERVICES

More than 2,000 Oregonians lost their lives to addiction overdoses or suicide in 2018. We must do a better job connecting services to those who need help. The current addiction recovery system is hard to access and difficult to navigate. I will order a comprehensive audit to establish an integrated and coordinated addiction recovery network across the state.

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