WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement as the nation awaits the final results of the presidential race:
“As impatient as we all are to know the results of this election, of first and most importance is that every vote is counted. Americans’ voices must be heard. Americans should know that, right now, the system is working as intended, and elections officials across the country are working hard to ensure that the final result accurately represents the will of voters.
“While this experience may be new to many of our friends and neighbors across America, in Oregon, we’re used to being patient for our election results. Oregon has voted by mail for over two decades, with a system that is highly popular, secure, and has great integrity. When I was first elected to the Senate in 2008, it took several days for the ballots to be counted and the result to be announced. In due time, though, the count came in and the will of the voters was clear. All Americans should ready themselves for a similar process today, and know that this is normal and expected in an election with massive turnout in which many more voters than ever before cast their ballots by mail. It’s also important for Americans to know that it is normal in these circumstances—especially this year, when the president spent months disparaging vote-by-mail to his supporters—for the late-counted mail-in ballots to trend differently from earlier ballots. Based on everything we know right now about the remaining ballots in key states, it appears likely that Vice President Biden is on track to be the rightful winner.
“I urge every election official, public leader, and media outlet across the nation to respect our democratic process and encourage patience while results come in. The right to vote is our most fundamental sacred right in our ‘We the People’ system of governance. President Trump’s attack on validly cast ballots and his attempt to declare a winner before all the votes are counted are blows that strike at the very core of our democratic republic. Count every vote.”