The Board of County Commissioners learned Nov. 2 of a reported incident of ballot tampering in the Clackamas County elections office that occurred Oct. 31. A temporary employee was allegedly observed filling in blank spaces on a ballot.
The incident was reported to the Secretary of State who sought the involvement of the Oregon Department of Justice. The matter is currently under investigation by both the Secretary of State and the Department of Justice. The temporary worker involved in the incident is no longer working pending the outcome of the investigation.
At this point, it is unclear how many ballots the employee at issue had access to, or what will be done with those ballots. Ballot envelopes are opened at a table with observers registered with both major political parties, and the room has a space for the public to observe the process.
Since the incident was reported, officials from the Secretary of State's office have been on-site to supervise the ballot counting process, and Oregon State Troopers are providing additional security. Elections workers now work with fluorescent pens, which cannot be read by the counting machines.
County citizens should feel assured that any ballots cast from this point forward will be treated properly. Safeguards are in place to ensure a fair, accurate and transparent process for tomorrow’s election.
While the election process is under the sole control of the County Clerk, with the supervision of the Secretary of State, the Board of Commissioners is committed to working with the County Clerk and other officials to support any improvements to enhance public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.