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Citizens' group interrogating voters in Klamath County

Klamath County Government Center

Last week, a group was seen knocking on doors in Klamath County asking residents about their voting details, including whether they voted, how they voted, and who they voted for.

More than ten residents of Klamath County have reported to the clerk’s office that the group came to their door and asked them questions about their voter registration and voting record. They sometimes referred to themselves as “an integrity group.”

Klamath County Clerk Rochelle Long said some residents assumed that the group was from the local elections office.

"And we explained we don't go door to door. We don't ask you those questions," she said. "And then they said sometimes they felt like a little intimidated, like these people would not leave."

The group's actions have been perceived as threatening by some residents.

"I think people, they felt intimidated, and some of them were kind of mad that they were coming to their door," Long said. "So I don't know how many doors have been gone to, but we just wanted to make people aware that if a group comes to your door, and they're asking you questions about your voter registration and stuff, it's not from our office."

Long said her office doesn’t have many details, including identifying information about the group's members. But she said the incidents are being tracked and have been reported to the Secretary of State’s Office and the FBI. She said the group’s conduct may be illegal. The clerk will soon have information on its website about election violation laws, including what qualifies as an election violation and how to report it.

Ben Morris, communications director for the Oregon Secretary of State, confirmed that the office had been notified about the incidents but said he had no additional information. He said an investigation would be conducted "only if some election law has been violated." Otherwise, "next steps would really be public education, which I think the clerk is taking the lead on," he said.

Long emphasized that voters do not have to answer these questions and can tell the group to leave. If someone has questions about their voter registration, they should call the clerk’s office directly. And if they feel threatened, they should call the police.

Jane Vaughan began her journalism career as a reporter for a community newspaper in Portland, Maine. She's been a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio and worked on WNYC's On The Media. Jane earned her Master's in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.