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SALEM, OR (KPTV) - The state of Oregon has proposed a fine of nearly $95,000 after 97 collected ballots were turned in too late to be counted for last November’s election.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson opened the investigation immediately following the November 2018 election.

The Oregon Elections Division received a complaint from Multnomah County elections officials about two people who had turned in ballots late, preventing those 97 votes from being counted.

The ballots consisted of 92 from Multnomah County, four from Clackamas County and one from Washington County. The voters were notified about what had happened.

On Tuesday, Richardson said a “notice of proposed penalty and notice of opportunity to request hearing” had been issued in this case. The Oregon Elections Division is proposing a civil penalty of $94,750 against Defend Oregon.

Defend Oregon is described by the state as a “political action committee.”

According to state records, Defend Oregon reported that the 97 ballots were collected by canvassers, including some employees, but mostly volunteers.

Defend Oregon described the ballots not being delivered on time as the result of a “miscommunication” and an “inadvertent error.”

Elections officials said Defend Oregon violated a state code that says, “if a person returns a ballot for an elector, they must deposit the ballot at the county elections office, or an official dropbox, not later than two days after receiving the ballot or by 8:00pm on Election Day, whichever comes first.”

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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