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Clackamas County clerk estimates ballot count will be completed between May 28 and June 2

A printing error led thousands of voters to receive ballots with a faulty barcode, forcing county employees to duplicate them by hand.
Credit: AP
Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall speaks at the office on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Oregon City, Ore. Ballots with blurry barcodes that can't be read by vote-counting machines will delay election results by weeks in a key U.S. House race in Oregon's primary. Hall said the problem first came to light May 3, when elections workers put the first ballots returned in the vote-by-mail state through the vote-counting machine. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall estimates that county employees will finish counting the remaining ballots in the 2022 primary election by June 2.

A printing error led thousands of voters to receive ballots with a faulty barcode, forcing county employees to duplicate the misprinted ballots by hand. 

On Tuesday, Hall released a memo sent to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan outlining her plan for how the ballots will be counted. The ballots had to be postmarked by May 17, but now it appears the results for certain races — namely the race for Oregon's 5th congressional district — will have to wait for a few more days. 

According to Hall's memo, she estimates the ballots will all be counted sometime between May 28 and June 2.

As of Tuesday, Clackamas County has received 116,012 ballots. Of those, 60,230 have been counted and uploaded into its system. As of 7 p.m. Monday, 7,543 of the misprinted ballots had been duplicated, and there were still 38,381 that remained to be duplicated.

The memo says that between 41 and 164 people are scheduled to count ballots every day until the job is complete. They will be working five-hour shifts, and there will be a morning shift and evening shift. Working in teams of two, a group of 80 workers per shift (160 workers per day) should be able to duplicate 8,000 ballots per day, the memo claims.

Hall has drawn scrutiny over the ballot fiasco, including from Secretary of State Fagan, who said she offered the county help within 24 hours of learning thousands of ballots were printed with bad barcodes. Hall initially declined assistance, but has since changed course and accepted help. 

More recently, Hall was criticized for letting an election observer from District 5 race incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader's campaign into the elections building nearly an hour before it opened at 8:30 a.m. While Hall initially said she had no idea what happened that morning, security footage obtained by KGW seems to show Hall supervising at the time the observer was let into the building early. 

Schrader's opponent Jamie McLeod-Skinner filed a complaint, and Fagan is investigating the matter.  

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