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Clackamas County Bank does its part to help accessibility before general election

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - A new ballot dropbox was installed in Boring at the end of September. In rural communities like Boring, the voting process just got a little bit simpler.

At the end of September, the community received its own ballot dropbox at the Boring branch of Clackamas County Bank, 28500 Highway 212. The need was already recognized by the community, so the Boring Community Planning Organization (CPO) made a request to Clackamas County.

"We were going to do it the Boring way," Boring CPO Chairman Mike Fitz explained. When he first contacted the county, Fitz said, staff members told him the probability of getting a box in Boring before the upcoming Nov. 6 election was low.

But then he told them they'd do it the "Boring way" and "dig the hole and mix the cement" themselves and, Fitz noted, county officials made Boring more of a priority.

"We had already begun the process of upgrading all of the ballot drop sites in Clackamas County when the Boring CPO contacted us requesting a box in their community," Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall told The Post. "The timing of the request worked out perfectly with our ongoing efforts to provide the best service possible to Clackamas County voters. The purposes of the new boxes are to increase the security of ballots and to provide greater geographical accessibility and 24-hour access to a drop site for all voters."

Clackamas County Bank's Boring branch was chosen as the location for the Boring dropbox because of its visibility. And Clackamas County Bank President Cathy Stuchlik agreed.

"Clackamas County Bank has always taken its civic duties very seriously," Stuchlik noted. "It is part of our heritage and a source of great pride that we have been a contributing member of our communities for 107 years — it was just the right thing to do."

"Putting that dropbox on Highway 212, I think, was a good idea," Fitz added.

In addition to Sandy and Boring, new ballot drop boxes were added in Oregon City, Canby, Molalla, Milwaukie, Estacada, Damascus, Colton, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville.

The clerk's office cited advantages including enhanced security, increased capacity, improved visibility and accessibility.

"Election security is of paramount importance to me," Hall said in the statement. "Residents can rest assured that their ballots are going to be safe and counted." 

"Ever since I've been out here, I've told people I'll pick up your ballot and take it in if you need it," Fitz added. "Whatever you can do to make it easier to vote, the better."

For years, Fitz drove ballots to the Red Soils Campus dropbox in Oregon City to ensure Boring residents' votes were counted. He personally sees rural areas as important to the election process, so he's always game to improve access to voting.

"Portland controls the state," Fitz noted. "In Boring, we're more of a rural area than urban. Mathematically, (the rural areas) can control the state if they vote, but they don't. If we turn out, about 3 percent above Portland, they can't (run) roughshod over us."

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