ORS 254.483 is an obscure bit of Oregon's elections law. It requires county clerks to destroy all unused ballots promptly after 8:00 p.m. on election day, to provide for the security of unused ballots, and to account for all unused ballots. The purpose for destroying unused ballots promptly when voting closes is straightforward: if all the unused ballots are destroyed, then they can't be used by fraudulent voters after the election closes.
Multnomah County, apparently, doesn't obey this portion of the law -- stacks of unused ballots were filmed in the county's election headquarters two weeks after election day -- and that may be the reason for introducing House Bill 2256 in this session of the Oregon legislature.
House Bill 2256 was introduced at the request of Secretary of State Kate Brown. Section 4 of the bill, not referred to in the bill's summary, would amend ORS 254.483 to remove the requirement that county clerks destroy unused ballots promptly after 8:00 p.m. on election day, or at all. Clerks would still have to account for unused ballots, but would not have to destroy the unused ballots. It's an interesting bill, because it mostly deals with other elections issues that don't have anything to do with the security of unused ballots. Curiously, it's also been referred to was introduced by the House Committee on Health Care instead of the more appropriate Committee on General Government. The bill doesn't have anything to do with health care.
This isn't the first attempt to remove the requirement that unused ballots be destroyed; the 2008 special session considered HB 3634, which for part of its life included provisions that would have required county clerks to count unused ballots and mark them as void promptly after 8:00 on election day, instead of destroying them entirely. It's worth keeping an eye on HB 2256 this session, both to see what the Health Care committee makes of the strange task it's been assigned, and to see if Multnomah County (or any other county) steps forward to explain why it's been ignoring state law.