Memo to Clinton: It’s Very Easy to Track OR Voters

Given how well Hillary Clinton performed in West Virginia yesterday, I think we’d have to give round one of the Clinton/Gronke smackdown to the Big Dog.

No surprise there; William Jefferson Clinton has just a bit more political experience than yours truly.

Bill Clinton knows rural voters, but Paul Gronke knows Oregon’s vote by mail system. So when President Clinton says that Oregon’s vote by mail system is “hilarious” and was designed to make it “difficult for candidates to know who’s voted,” I have to call BS. (Props to my colleague Doug Chapin at for finding this story.)

The Oregon system makes it exceedingly simple to know who has voted. In every county in Oregon, you can purchase a list of voters who have cast an early ballot. These are available on a daily (and possibly more often) basis. They may even be available at this point from the state, though I’m not sure about that.

Every political operator in Oregon has known this for at least a decade, and I’m sure the Clinton campaign is tracking these voters as well.

I’ve long posted here about the pluses and minuses of voting by mail, and vote tracking is one of the pluses. As long as the ballots are processed on a timely basis, and as long as counties make these data easily and cheaply available, voting by mail makes it easier and cheaper for campaigns to track turnout and target potential voters.