This story has been running on local television news this evening - on 2 and 8. Apparently a letter was sent for one of the attorneys purporting to represent the Republican Party and the Bush/Cheney campaign, challenging the ballots of all new voters.
The letter says that if the new ballots are not held up and double checked, the Oregon Republican Party will challenge even more ballots and stall the entire Oregon State election.
Multnomah County currently verifies the identify of these new voters by comparing the signatures on their ballot envelopes with the signatures on their voter registration cards. If the signatures do not match, the ballots are held and are not counted. If a ballot arrives without a signature on the outer envelope, it will not be counted. It would seem that the proposed "proof finding" mission would be, for the most part, an expensive, intimidating, and time-consuming waste of time.
Fielding questions about the letter, Senator Ron Wyden decried the effort, saying that he and Republican Senator Gordon Smith had already ironed out an agreement that covered the voting by mail scenario satisfactorily. He noted that the action was inappropriate and should be withdrawn.
Republican State Chairman Kevin Mannix stated that he had no knowledge of the letter and had not approved it. This evening the national Bush/Cheney campaign office in Washington DC issued a statement saying that it had nothing to do with the letter and the demand, although it verified that the attorney whose name appeared on the legal papers was indeed one of the lawyers working for the reelection committee and the Republican party.