Next Results Update: June 13, End of Day - Unofficial Results
Note: Pursuant to OAR 165-007-0550(4)
Some ballots printed for the May 17, 2022 Primary Election have barcodes that are blurred. This defect in the printed ballot causes the affected ballots to be rejected by the county’s automated ballot processing equipment. The ballots with the defect are validly cast votes, and will be tallied.
Read Clerk Hall's 2022 Primary Election Response Plan.
Because this is an ongoing process, numbers will change.
Clackamas County Accountability Benchmarks to SOS
Total ballots: 116,045
Total ballots: 114,840
Total ballots counted
Ballots remaining to be duplicated
County Election Links
We strongly encourage anyone interested in observing to review our Observer Policy prior to arriving.
Clerk Sherry Hall explains the blurred-barcode ballot issue - May 12, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
A significant number of ballots disseminated to Clackamas County voters for the May 17 Primary Election have barcodes that are blurred. These barcodes were blurred due to an error during the printing process.
Clackamas County did not print these ballots — this was done by an outside printing company that the Clerk’s Office has used for a decade. These blurred ballots present a problem for the county’s automated ballot-processing equipment, which cannot read the ballots.110766
Do the ballots with the blurred barcodes still count? What will be done with these blurred-barcode ballots?
Yes. The ballots with the defective barcode are still validly cast votes, and will be tallied.
There is a routine process for handling these ballots. The original ballots themselves are retained. At least two election workers of different political affiliations transfer the votes to a machine-readable duplicate ballot. The workers must agree that the votes cast on the original ballot have been correctly transferred to the “duplicate” ballot to be read by the machine. The duplicate ballot is then included in the batch to be processed in place of the damaged ballot. The damaged ballot is retained, so that election integrity is ensured.110766
A certain number of ballots that are received in every election are damaged in handling, in the mail, or while in the possession of the voters due to beverage spills and similar accidents. These blurred barcode ballots will be handled in the same manner.
The difference with this situation is the magnitude of the ballots being rejected by the machines due to the blurred barcodes. The situation is unprecedented for the county.110766
The blurred bar codes do not identify voters nor do they relate in any way to voters’ selections on candidates or measures. They are a code that identifies the “ballot style” so that the equipment can tally the votes in the correct elections.110766
No. The County Clerk is one of the 11 elected officials at Clackamas County, like each individual commissioner.110766
Clackamas County has responded in a number of ways. Some include:
- Offering additional help/workers: Immediately upon learning about the problem, County Administrator Gary Schmidt offered dozens of employees to be temporarily reassigned to county elections to aid in the duplication process. This number has been raised, and the county seeks, to ensure that 200 election worker spots per day are filled.
- Expanded capacity: Ballot-processing rooms must be secure and observable by the public, per state law. Clackamas County was able to expand the available space.
County staffers began helping with the elections process the week after the problem was discovered — which was the week prior to Election Day.110766
Election Certification Day is June 13. That is the deadline for the Clerk to certify the election results.110766
Does this problem have anything to do with the change in state law allowing for ballots that are postmarked by Election Day to now count?
No. The new law has nothing to do with the ballot barcodes being blurred.
However, many validly-mailed ballots came into the Clerk’s Office in the days after the election, and elections officials have to process those correctly, which adds more time. In years past, the Clerk’s Office would receive all ballots for processing by the end of the night on Election Day (with the exception of those put into other counties’ drop boxes).110766
The election results are posted online each weekday. Check that page and select “Unofficial Results,” and the “Registered Voters” number at the top right of the screen provides the number of ballots that have been counted thus far.110766