Pamplin Media Group – Opinion: Clackamas County can no longer afford election mistakes

Former Budget Committee Member: Join me in supporting Catherine McMullen, who will not tolerate embarrassing missteps.

Clackamas County can no longer afford election-related errors by the outgoing County Clerk.

Fuzzy barcodes that can’t be read by a 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 have used a print supplier for many large projects, but there was always a quality control process when receiving the print job from the supplier. It was better to catch the problem before the publications were sent to the public. This current issue is estimated to be impacting up to 309,000 ballots countywide and will require them to be counted by hand.

Unfortunately, this is not the first problem with the current performance of the Clerk’s Office. In June 2016, it was reported that a missing ballot box appeared after the initial count was completed. This discovery necessitated last-minute vote count changes just before the county’s deadline to certify state election results.

Another incident occurred in 2012, where volunteer election workers were found filling out ballots where no selection had been made. According to reports, criminal charges have been filed.

It is the Clerk’s responsibility to ensure that there is effective oversight and quality control of our elections. This is no longer the case now.

Voters in Clackamas County have a choice in November to make a change for a better quality election. Catherine McMullen is a seasoned election official who will bring quality control and effective oversight to the County Clerk’s Office where it is desperately needed.

The citizens of Clackamas County deserve better and we have the perfect opportunity in the November election to make a change for the better. Join me in supporting Catherine McMullen, who will not tolerate embarrassing missteps in the election.

Tom Feely is a former member of the Clackamas County Budget Committee and a resident of unincorporated North Clackamas County.

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