State officials are unhappy with how Clackamas County Elections handled Tuesday night's primary election, calling slow results and delays "unacceptable."
In an emergency meeting on May 18, Clackamas County Administrator Gary Schmidt announced adding another 200 employees from different departments to work shifts at the elections office, on top of the 37 employees previously reallocated.
Clackamas County was hours behind the rest of Oregon's 36 counties in reporting results to the state from the Tuesday, May 17, election. Those delays left the final tallies for many key elections, such as the candidates to face off in November's gubernatorial race, ambiguous after just one update hours after the rest of the state.
"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," said Shemia Fagan, Oregon Secretary of State, in a statement Tuesday night. "While I am confident 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," Fagan added.
On election night the county posted an initial wave of returns, that totaled just a couple thousand votes in several key races, and never provided those results to the Secretary of State's website, as is protocol. That limited reporting left many candidates with their fates up in the air, as no further updates on returns were made. As of Wednesday afternoon, May 18, those numbers had not been updated.
"In recent days, my office and other counties have offered extra personnel to help with timely reporting," Fagan said. "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," she added.
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