Early election errors: Defective ballots, Voter pamphlet omissions, more…

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


• Clackamas County Defective ballots: The Oregonian reports, “Clackamas County election officials sent ballots with defective barcodes to an unknown number of voters for the May 17 primary, an error that will cost the county extra money and will likely delay election results. County Clerk Sherry Hall announced Wednesday that a printing error had caused the barcodes on many ballots to be blurred, making them unreadable by the county’s ballot processing equipment. Election officials didn’t notice the error before the ballots were sent to voters.”

• Secretary of State omits candidates: The Portland Tribune reports, “Secretary of State’s Office omits Washington County candidates. Approximately 80,000 Washington County voters were impacted by the mistake. Some Washington County voters will be receiving a supplementary Voters’ Pamphlet ahead of the May primary due to an error by the Secretary of State’s Office, which the first time around omitted from the literature four incumbent House candidates: Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, Rep. Dacia Grayber, D-Portland, Rep. Susan McLain, D-Forest Grove, and Rep. Maxine Dexter, D-Portland.”

• Washington County elections switches ballot measure sides without explanation: Oregon Catalyst reports, “Now comes 2021-2022, where Washington County politicians speed out a ban on flavored vaping (which is severe enough to shut down numerous small businesses and their life savings with little advanced notice). Citizens launched a referendum petition and qualified for the ballot. Because of this, citizens now had a right to vote on the vaping ban with a simple YES or No vote. Washington County decided to do what Ontario did by reversing the referendum, so that citizens would have the burden of passing a measure and not politicians. Under this switch, voters would now have to vote YES to OPPOSE the measure and vote NO to SUPPORT the measure.The Taxpayers Association of Oregon submitted an “opposition” Voter Pamphlet statement to the vaping ban under the “opposition” side, not realizing that Washington County altered the near 100-year process for referendums.This was not discovered until we looked at the early, advanced County Voter Pamphlet offered online for military/overseas voters…We saw no public hearing announcing that the County was going to violate their own Charter and the Oregon State Constitution. Public notices are important because we are tracking 43 different local ballot measures on the May Primary Ballot. We fear that this is a new trend among Election officials to make changes to election laws without public hearings or public votes as witnessed by numerous complaints making headlines. “

• Washington County auditor responds to voter pamphlet problem:  Pamplin Media reports this letter statement from Washington County auditor; “Pamplin Media has not endorsed in the race for Washington County auditor, and I do not claim their endorsement. [Ed.: This letter was received prior to Pamplin Media Group’s endorsement of Kristine Adams-Wannberg for auditor.] To include a previously published quote in the Voters’ Pamphlet Candidate Statement, Form JCVP-01 requires that a candidate reference the name and date of the publication in which the statement appeared, which I did…Form JCVP-02 specifies the format for including a previously published statement as an endorsement. The required language to attribute a quote to the Pamplin Media Editorial Board is “‘John Hutzler is the clear choice to remain Washington County Auditor.’ Pamplin Media Editorial Board, Beaverton Valley Times, March 3, 2022.” I did not submit this statement as an endorsement…I regret that following those detailed instructions created the impression that I was claiming an endorsement by Pamplin Media.I recommended that, to avoid such problems going forward, Elections should revise Form JCVP-01 to require that previously published quotes be attributed to their author, in addition to citing the publication in which they appeared.”

— It may not be an error but a matter of choice, but the Secretary of State Election website that features the Oregon Voter Pamphlet lists County Commissioner candidates around the state except for Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington County.  Metro candidates are also not listed.  Some city races are mentioned but others are not.  It lists three local ballot measures around the state but not the 40+ others on the local ballot.

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