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State Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 21 May 2022

SALEM, Ore. - Election Following reports that Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall has yet to present a definitive timeline and plan to get ballots counted, as well as news alleging unequal access to the county’s vote count, Oregon State Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) has issued the following statement: 

“In speaking with Clackamas County Government Affairs staff yesterday, I informed them of the following questions I would like to have answered in the legislative inquiry. Some of these questions should be answered immediately so that the public has confidence that the Clerk’s office and Clackamas County are recovering from this error competently.

  • What is the training plan for county workers? 
  • Were they required to disclose their political affiliation? 
  • What would you advise other clerks to do differently?
  • How are elections workers trained?
  • Do they take an oath?
  • How much did the error cost and which budget does it come from?
  • Are you keeping track of the costs?
  • What is the quality control procedure for ballot printing?
  • Alternatively, why weren’t ballots handled by a third-party company included during the Logic and Accuracy tests held in advance of the election?
  • How many different ballots are printed and how does this impact the process? 
  • What alternatives to hand-counting ballots were considered?
  • Do you know exactly which batches of ballots were affected or simply the political party that was affected?

“Further, the Willamette Week reported yesterday that the next update would be on May 25, 2022. As a Clackamas County candidate and voter, this is simply unacceptable.

Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and immigrant communities, who are already working to improve voter confidence, participation, and candidate preparation, deserve to know that the system we have here in Oregon is trustworthy and accountable. In an unprecedented fashion, organizations like the Urban League of Portland hosted and archived 10 online candidate forums, including the governor’s race, to educate and encourage community members to vote. 

“We witnessed the voter suppression efforts in Georgia in the race between Gov. Brian Kemp and candidate Stacey Abrams. This miscarriage of justice is firmly etched in our conscious and risks causing distrust and disillusionment. It happened in Georgia, but it cannot happen here in Oregon. It may happen abroad where refugees have experienced and lived under dictatorships, but it cannot happen here in Oregon. 

“Now, more than ever before, it is important to have elections systems that are timely, accurate, and supportive of two of our nation’s most cherished rights: the right to run for office and the right to vote.

“Therefore, I am calling on Clackamas County to commit to reporting a daily tally of votes that were counted, shifts that were filled, and plans for the next day. We should endeavor to do this out of a commitment to integrity, respect for those who cast their vote, and the candidates who bravely stepped up to run.

“I have been in touch with the Secretary of State Fagan and she has assured me that her office is doing everything in its legal power to support recovery efforts.” 

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.