Clackamas County cannot afford any more election-related mistakes by the incumbent county clerk.
Blurry barcodes that can't be read by machine are just the latest in a series of issues that have plagued the quality of our elections since 2012. While the current county clerk blames the printer, where was the quality control? During my career, I utilized a printing vendor for many big projects, but there was always a quality-control process upon receiving the print job back from the vendor. It was much better to catch the problem before the publications were sent out to the public. This current problem is estimated to impact up to 309,000 ballots countywide and will require that they be hand-counted.
Sadly, this is not the first issue with the current clerk's office performance. In June of 2016, it was reported that a missing box of ballots turned up after the initial counting had been completed. This discovery required last-minute vote tally changes just before the county's deadline to certify the election results to the state.
Another incident occurred in 2012, where volunteer election workers were found to be filling in ballots where no selection had been made. According to reports, criminal charges were filed.
It is the clerk's responsibility to make sure that effective oversight and quality control exists in our elections. That is not now the case.
Clackamas County voters have a choice in November to make a change for higher-quality elections. Catherine McMullen is a seasoned elections official who will bring quality control and effective oversight to the county clerk's office where it is desperately needed.
Clackamas County citizens deserve better and we have the perfect opportunity in November's election to make a change for the better. Join me in supporting Catherine McMullen, who will not tolerate embarrassing election missteps.
Tom Feely is a former member of the Clackamas County Budget Committee and a resident of unincorporated north Clackamas County.
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