PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Clackamas County election officials are counting ballots by hand after blurry bar codes kept machines from reading them.
Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said she is “deeply concerned about the delay” in vote reporting totals from the county.
County voters were alerted they might see delayed results after a barcode issue was detected a few weeks ago. The Clackamas County Elections Office announced on May 4 that an unknown number of ballots with blurry barcodes were sent to voters.
That forced election officials manually enter the data to the Secretary of State’s website.
Voters concerned about the tallying process are invited to observe the proceedings.
“Elections must go on. Elections need to be done on time. Dates are set in stone and we do not get overwhelmed with this because we’re problem solvers,” Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall told KOIN 6 News.
But just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, Fagan issued a stern statement:
“As Oregon’s chief election officer – and a Clackamas County voter — I am deeply concerned about the delay in reporting from Clackamas County Elections tonight. While I am confident that the process they are following is secure, transparent and the results will be accurate, the county’s reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it’s time for Clackamas County Elections to do theirs.
“In recent days, my office and other counties have offered extra personnel to help with timely reporting. We eagerly await a response from county elections officials on how we can aid in the timely processing of results. I am disappointed that we have not seen more urgency from elections officials in Clackamas County.”
Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners Chair Tootie Smith said earlier this month county elections will move forward using the Oregon law’s method to “ensure accuracy and honor voter intent,” but warned election results may “be delayed by the sheer volume of affected ballots, which is not completely known at this time.”