Ballot counting continues despite delays in Clackamas County

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:45 PM PDT
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CLACKAMAS COUNTY Ore. (KPTV) – It’s been two days since primary election day and still thousands of ballots in Clackamas County need to be counted.

The elections office got off to a rocky start after officials say about 90,000 of the county’s ballots had damaged bar codes and now all of those have to be counted by hand.

The elections clerk Sherry Hall didn’t anticipate it taking this long to count the ballots so now county officials have stepped in and are reassigning up to 200 other county workers to help with the count.

We’re told that these temporary reassignments should not affect essential services and for now, the county has workers scheduled on two separate six-hour shifts.

“We can’t mess this work up so it’s really important that the people doing this work are fresh and not overly exhausted because we can’t even make one mistake,” said spokesman for Clackamas County Kimberly Dinwiddie.

John Buxman has been an election volunteer here for years and say’s he’s never experienced anything like this before.

“People are working very hard at it,” says Buxman. “It’s a difficult job but they’re doing a good job with it.”

Buxman adds it’s an all ands on deck operation.

“We need extra people to do the job.”

While these votes are tallied, several races hang in the balance including the race for the Democratic nomination for the Fifth Congressional District. Incumbent Kurt Schrader is fighting to hold off challenger Jamie Mcleod-Skinner.

The county doesn’t have an estimate as to when the count will be done but is promising it will meet the June 13 deadline.