The national spotlight shone on Clackamas County during the last general election, and for a few days, state and local officials questioned the integrity of the election. It was more than enough for Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall. “There must never be another incident that might compromise an election,” Hall said. Two ballots were disqualified in the November 2012 election, after a temporary elections worker filled in races left blank on two ballots for Republican candidates. Deanna Swenson, 55, received 90 days in jail and three years’ probation for her actions. She also had to pay $500 in fines and to repay the Oregon Secretary of State’s $12,997 bill for investigating and prosecuting the case. In response, a nonpartisan committee discussed how to ensure election integrity in the future, and came up with these steps. The county released the report Thursday.
… The committee is also discussing installing cameras in the processing room. The elections office has cameras in the tally room, at the front counter and at the entrance and exit doors. No one would watch the cameras in real-time, nor later, unless an allegation of ballot tampering arose.
Hall said even in offices with cameras, the setup wouldn’t detect the kind of tampering that happened in Clackamas County. Also, the positioning of the cameras must be such that they don’t show the ballot markings, in case someone makes a public records request for the film and tries to determine who voted which way.
“Nevertheless, since cameras would give us the ability to follow up on wrongdoing, it makes sense to have cameras in the ballot processing area,” Hall said.