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Oregon Secretary Of State 'Taken Aback' By Fake Election News

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says she was "taken aback" by the amount of misinformation that surrounded Oregon's recent election process. In a speech at Salem City Club, Atkins said even her own Facebook friends were sharing bad information, such as the well-meaning warning that you needed two stamps to mail in your Oregon ballot. Not true.

Another hoax that spread widely was a digitally altered photo that made it look as if Oregon elections officials had left Donald Trump off the ballot.

Atkins said her staff worked long hours trying to put potentially damaging rumors to rest.

"I think we weren't as prepared as we might have been for somebody just making something up and putting it out there," she said. "And suddenly a whole lot of Oregonians were sharing it as truth, and we had to get out in front and respond to that."

Atkins was appointed secretary of state last year and didn't seek election to a full term this fall. She was appointed in March 2015 to replace Kate Brown, who became governor in the wake of John Kitzhaber's resignation. With just over 22 months in office, Atkins will be one of the shortest-serving secretaries of state in Oregon history.

Republican Dennis Richardson will be sworn in to replace Atkins next month. He was elected in November, defeating Democratic Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian to become the first Republican to hold that office since Norma Paulus, who served from 1977 to 1985.

<p>Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins speaks to the Salem City Club.</p>

Chris Lehman


Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins speaks to the Salem City Club.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting