SALEM, OR — Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan ordered an audit today of Clackamas County’s May election results. Post-election audits are standard practice in Oregon, but due to a ballot printing error that forced the County to correct thousands of ballots with faulty barcodes, the Secretary directed the County to conduction additional audits, including the results of its ballot duplication process.
“Clackamas County voters can trust the results of their election,” Secretary Fagan said. “We can verify that the results are accurate by directing the County to audit its work.”
Standard post-election audits involve pulling a statistically significant, random sample of ballots off the shelves and counting them by hand. The results are then compared to the machine count to verify accuracy. The directive issued today requires recounts in addition to the hand recounts required for every county, and it requires election workers in Clackamas to verify that duplicated ballots were transcribed accurately from their original.
Post-election audits have been a standard practice in Oregon since 2008. They are one of the pillars of election integrity that make Oregon’s vote-by-mail system the gold standard for modern, secure and transparent elections.
“My mission as Oregon’s Secretary of State is to build trust. But let’s face it, weeks of negative headlines eroded Oregonian’s trust in elections,” Secretary Fagan said. “Even though processing the votes in Clackamas County was slow, it is now my responsibility to confirm that it was done correctly so voters can trust the election results.”
A copy of the order is available online at https://sos.oregon.gov/public-records-log/Documents/Directive-ClackamasRecountFinal.pdf