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County election results delayed after ballot bungle posted on 06/01/2022

Clackamas County made election headlines last month from Arkansas to New York and beyond, thanks to ballots printed with blurred barcodes that rendered them unreadable to the county’s automated equipment. The error resulted in thousands of ballots requiring duplication by election workers of different political affiliations.

Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall acknowledged the blurred barcodes in a press release dated May 4, and as of Saturday, May 28, a total of 98,187 ballots had been counted out of 116,045 received and 16,559 ballots needing to be duplicated remained.

The county has until Monday, June 13 to certify the results.

While some results from the May primary have been decided even before the outstanding votes in Clackamas County are tallied, voters on the Mountain will have to wait before learning the fate of the proposed Hoodland Park District (Measure 3-581). If formed, the district would receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with possible amenities including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be a maximum of 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000) and would be overseen by a board of five volunteer directors, also elected on the May ballot.

As of Saturday, May 28, voters had cast 1,205 votes in opposition to the proposed district against 534 in support.

Marci Slater, the chief petitioner for the proposed district, noted that it was still too early to call it one way or the other.

“I’m not fretting over it or worried,” she said, adding that it was still possible for the “yes” votes to be in the majority. “We left it up to the voters.”

Should the district fail in the final tally, the county would look to sell the parcels of land. Clackamas County Public Information Officer Kimberly Dinwiddie-Webb noted that there is currently no timeline on next steps with the property as the county is focused on finishing the election results on or before June 13.

Out of seven candidates running for the district’s board of directors, the five with the most votes as of that date were Robb Courtney, Regina Lythgoe, Becky Fortune, Brittany Kintigh and Dannelle Wolfe.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam came in third in the state for the Republican nomination for Oregon Governor, with the early returns in Clackamas County placing him second to winner Christine Drazan. Drazan will face off against Democrat Tina Kotek in the November election.

On the local level, Raz Mason will be the Democratic nominee for State Senator, 26th District, facing Republican Daniel Bonham, while Republican Jeff Helfrich will face Democrat Darcy Long in the race for State Representative, 52nd District. Anna Williams, who currently serves as the 52nd District Representative, chose not to run for reelection.

County races that could be impacted by the continuing vote count include Clackamas County Commissioner Position 2, where incumbent Paul Savas held a lead over Libra Forde, 38.13 percent to 33.23 percent, and Clackamas County Commissioner Position 5, where incumbent Sonya Fischer held a lead over Ben West, 44.71 percent to 39.02 percent, as of Saturday, May 28.

By Garth Guibord/MT

 

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