Clackamas County Clerk, Sherry Hall Mails Wrong Voter Inserts in August 23 Special Election

West Linn, OR.– In May 2022, the Clackamas County Primary Election was severely impacted by County Clerk, Sherry Hall and her mishandling of a ballot printing issue which resulted in over 6,700 additional people hours and $600K being spent to rectify the mistake. Several key local and federal races hung in limbo for weeks while the clerk scrambled to mitigate a preventable crisis. 

Since Thursday, many voters are discovering that they have received the wrong voters’ pamphlet insert for the race on their ballot. Namely, in precinct 600, which encompasses areas of Historic Oregon City and the outskirts of Gladstone, around 3,800 households look to be impacted by this error. 

The Oregon City mayoral race and the Oak Lodge Water Services Authority Board are the two races which are affected by the mistake. The current clerk is reporting that she is mailing new voters’ pamphlet inserts to all affected voters in precinct 600. If you discover you live within Oregon City limits and have received an insert with your ballot for the Oak Lodge race, you can also call the Clerk’s office at: 503-655-8510 and request a correct insert be mailed to you, or stop by the clerk’s office at: 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100 Oregon City, OR 97045 and get a correct insert. The correct insert is also available online.

Clerk Hall will be on the ballot for re-election in the November General Election. You can make an informed choice and vote for her challenger, Catherine McMullen to be our next Clackamas County Clerk. Catherine is a competent professional and an award winning election administrator who has more than 15 elections under her belt and is a former librarian. 

You can learn more about Catherine McMullen’s campaign at: ClackamasVoice.org

Catherine McMullen is interviewed by Laural Porter on Straight Talk on August 4

Catherine McMullen interviewed on Straight Talk with Laural Porter

Catherine McMullen was recently interviewed by Laural Porter on Straight Talk on KGW. The interview will air on KGW Channel 8 tonight at 7PM, and then Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 at 6:30PM. Catherine discussed the importance of her campaign for County Clerk and how she’ll do things differently than the current clerk, MUCH differently. Tune in and reshare with your networks. It can also be viewed live on the KGW app and on KGW’s Youtube channel after it airs. 

Make a Contribution! Ballots drop (are mailed to voters) beginning October 19 for the November 8 General Election. That means that we are mailing information about Catherine McMullen and this important contest to voters mid-October. We have just 10 weeks to raise funds for postage so that we can reach as many of Clackamas County’s 300,000+ voters as possible. That is A LOT of postage!

Vote Catherine McMullen for County Clerk

Voter Registration Deadline for the August 23 Special Election is August 2, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 28, 2022

Contact: Jaime Mathis jaime.clackamasvoice@gmail.com 503-708-3249

The Voter Registration Deadline is August 2, 2022 for the August 23 Special Election. Voters who live in the city of Oregon City will have a special election for Mayor due to the recent resignation of former Mayor Rachel Lyles-Smith. The winner will finish out the end of Lyles-Smith’s term through the end of the year. In addition, voters who live in the Oak Lodge Water Services Authority District will be voting for five at large members to the board. Ballots to eligible voters will be mailed out beginning August 3. 

The next election for all other Clackamas County Voters will be the November 8 General Election to elect city, county, state, and federal offices.

You can make sure you are ready to vote in the August 23 Special Election by updating your information or registering to vote today. You can check your registration online at oregonvotes.gov/myvote and check that your name, mailing address, and residence address are correct. If you have moved since you last voted make sure that you check that your address is correct.

Any changes you need to make can be done online at oregonvotes.gov/register or by visiting your Clackamas County elections office before 5PM on August 2 at 1710 Red Soils Ct. in Oregon City. You can also mail a Oregon Voter Registration form but it must be postmarked on or before August 2 for any new voter registrations.

Catherine McMullen, candidate for Clackamas County Clerk and certified elections administrator has prioritized voter education and outreach in the 15 elections she has run. “I will be an elections clerk that provides access to our democracy by ensuring that all citizens who are eligible to vote, know exactly how and where to exercise their rights and that the infrastructure is there to support well-run and timely elections.”

The current clerk has been the subject of intense scrutiny for her recent mismanagement of the May Primary Election in Clackamas County which resulted in over 6000 extra hours of labor and almost $600K in additional costs to taxpayers to address her mishandling of ballot barcodes being blurred and unreadable.

You can learn more about Catherine McMullen’s campaign at: ClackamasVoice.org

Oregon City’s First City Celebration in July 2022

 Vote By Mail Pro-tip: Sign up for Informed Delivery service from USPS and get a daily email with a digital preview of your mail and packages. Know when your ballot is on its way to you and when to make sure to check your mail box! 

You can sign up for free here.

Smart phone with Informed Delivery Email

Considering running for a local office? Filing is now open in cities across the county.

Run for Office

Consider serving your community by running for local office! The filing period is open for many municipal elected positions. There are elected positions currently open in cities throughout Clackamas County. You must file for office with the City Elections or Recorder’s office by 5 PM on August 30 (except for City of Canby – see below) for the November 8 General Election. Visit the website for your city to review details and qualifications.

November 8, 2022 General Election

The Voter Registration Deadline for this election is October 18. This is a statewide election, ballots will be mailed to voters October 19. Contests include state and local measures and city, county, and state candidates, including Governor of Oregon. 

Catherine McMullen will be on the ballot, running for County Clerk. The County Clerk is the head election official for Clackamas County, ensuring that every eligible voter is able to vote in each election and that elections are accurate, transparent, and timely. 

Open Positions in Clackamas County

Register to Vote and Check Your Registration Information

If you are a resident of Oregon, citizen of the United States, and at least 16 years old you can register to vote! Register to vote online at oregonvotes.gov/register. Check your voter registration information today to make sure it is accurate and up-to-date.

Vote

Registered voters 18 years old or older are eligible to vote. Every election is important, especially local elections!

August 23, 2022 Special Election

If you live in the City of Oregon City or within the Oak Lodge Water Services Authority District you will have a Special Election on August 23, 2022. The Voter Registration Deadline for this election is August 2. Eligible voters within these jurisdictions will receive a ballot the week of August 3. 

May 17 Primary Election Certified – Catherine McMullen speaks on the election on “Now Hear This: Canby” podcast

The May 17 Primary Election was finally certified today, June 13, 2022 as Clackamas County finished processing ballots.

I spoke with Tyler Francke in Canby for the Now Hear This podcast (taped June 12, aired June 13). I was featured in Episode 369: Finding a Voice:

Canby Conversation: As a little girl, Catherine McMullen didn’t grow up dreaming of counting ballots for a living, but it became her passion anyway. A candidate for Clackamas County clerk in November, we talk what went wrong in this year’s primary. Not surprisingly, it’s a long conversation.”

Finally, this is a good OPB Politics Now conversation about the how and why of Oregon counties having appointed (9) or elected (27) clerks. No matter the governance structure it is important that Clerks are accountable to the public/voters AND qualified for the democracy-critical position of head election official.

I am a certified elections administrator with 18 years of public service experience (11 in public libraries, 7 in elections). I’ve been involved in all aspects of conducting 15 elections to-date AND am on the ballot in November. I declared last June and then filed for office in September 2021. I’m experienced and competent and the voters will get to decide in November if I’m the right person to bring trust and integrity back to our Clackamas County elections processes.

Thank you for your support! Get involved in the campaign today!

Pamplin Media Editorial Board “It’s time to restore trust in Clackamas County elections”

Pamplin Media Group editorial board: Sherry Hall must leave clerk’s office and make room for qualified candidate Catherine McMullen

Clackamas County’s elections clerk, who has made a litany of ballot mistakes in her 20-year tenure, should be removed from office.

Calling for the county’s clerk to resign or be recalled after her latest disastrous antics was an easy decision for Pamplin Media Group, since it was a decision that we’ve already made — repeatedly. Our editorial board called for her removal in 2010, after Sherry Hall’s office cost the county an extra $120,000 by misprinting ballots to include a race that was supposed to be in a different election.

We called for Hall’s removal from office again in 2012, when one of her employees was caught ballot tampering, filling in blank ovals for Republican candidates. This employee was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail for the crime.

Calling for the ousting of the clerk is even easier this time around, with the availability of a qualified candidate to replace Hall on the November ballot. Catherine McMullen is a West Linn resident and employee of the Multnomah County Elections Office. McMullen, who holds certifications in elections management, shouldn’t be forced to wait until November to be Hall’s replacement.

Hall should resign now, so that Clackamas County commissioners can appoint McMullen and ensure a smooth transition for the elections office. In resigning, Hall would avoid prolonging what we believe will be her inevitable departure from office after the November election.

Read the full Media Endorsement on Pamplin Media.

Catherine McMullen, Candidate for Clackamas County Clerk, Issues Statement on Mounting Public Outcry for Clerk Hall’s Resignation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2022

Contact: Jaime Mathis, jaime.clackamasvoice@gmail.com 503-708-3249

Catherine McMullen, Candidate for Clackamas County Clerk, Issues Statement on Mounting Public Outcry for Clerk Hall’s Resignation

West Linn, Or.–Candidate for Clackamas County Clerk and veteran elections administrator Catherine McMullen released the following statement in response to the mounting public outcry over Clackamas County’s delayed May Primary elections results:

“As an experienced elections administrator and Clackamas County voter, I fully appreciate how distressing this election’s mishandling has been for voters, candidates, staff, and the greater public. 

Our elections are the heart of our democracy. Local election administration and voter participation are the heartbeat that keeps our communities pulsing forward. It is important that we stay clear-eyed in our response to this unfortunate event. This is an issue of one person’s incompetence, not a flawed voting system. Despite the sporadic and delayed reporting, upon certification, the May Primary Election results will be accurate. 

This crisis could have been avoided if Clerk Hall had taken appropriate preventative measures, followed established protocols, caught the blurred barcodes on ballots in quality control; or even after discovering the error, had mounted a timely or planned response to the printing error. 

There is public recourse and it lies in our electoral process. Clerk Hall is an elected official and the citizens of Clackamas County can vote her out of office in November if she chooses not to resign. 

You can guarantee that there will be plentiful oversight and quality assurance for the August Special and November General elections from the Secretary of State, Clackamas County leadership, elections officials like myself, and fellow voters. 

Clackamas County is treating this like the emergency it is and has stepped up resources, organization, and communication under County Administrator Gary Schmidt (newly appointed Deputy Elections Administrator). I am grateful for the hundreds of county employees who are now processing ballots in addition to their important work for county residents to make sure this election is completed on time. Updates from Clackamas County are now available on their own website: https://www.clackamas.us/elections/electionupdate. Thank you for your dedication to our democracy. 

We can and will rise from this preventable situation by standing together as voters and citizens, but we must strengthen our focus and resolve to make our elections work for us this November and vote the current clerk out of office. 

In my seven years of administering elections, I have won awards for voter education and outreach, conducted multiple elections during the pandemic and even one during a county-wide fire emergency. I am known for my attention to detail, librarian-level organization, empathy, and skilled crisis response. We WILL have elections that are timely, transparent, secure, and trustworthy.”

You can learn more and get involved with Catherine McMullen’s campaign by visiting, volunteering, or donating at: www.ClackamasVoice.org

Accountability and Outcome Possibilities for Clackamas County’s Delayed Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2022

Contact: Jaime Mathis, jaime@jaimemathis.com, 503-708-3249

West Linn, OR.-As delayed election results and blurred barcodes on May Primary Election ballots continue to impact Clackamas County voters and candidates, I am aware that many people are wondering about how this will play out and how we can mitigate similar events in the future. There are also questions about how to enact accountability in actionable, legal, and practical ways.  Here is some context for possible outcomes.

If the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of State declares a “county election emergency” (ORS 246.710) the SOS can step in under certain fiscal circumstances and support the conduct of the election until it is certified or until the emergency no longer exists. The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners can request from the Governor that an emergency be declared. 

An important point to note is that counties, through County Clerks or through another head election official, are the administrators of elections, and the Secretary of State monitors and supervises administration in all 36 counties. The SOS also ensures the uniform interpretation and application of Oregon’s election laws and enforces federal election laws. The physical work of running elections would remain housed in the current clerk’s office with the SOS acting as the quality control mechanism specifically for Clackamas County. This could happen with the clerk still holding her office but with an increased level of support and supervision.  

The Clackamas County Clerk is an elected position that is selected by the voters every four years in a November General Election. Only if there are three or more candidates is it also on the ballot in the May Primary Election. This means that the clerk cannot be removed from office barring becoming ineligible (moving out of the county), being successfully recalled, or being voted out of office in a subsequent election. The clerk can also resign, in which case, the Board of County Commissioners would be tasked with appointing a temporary clerk until the November General Election could be held and the elected clerk takes office in January (ORS 236.210).

Ultimately what is most important is that the ballots here in Clackamas County are counted accurately and without further delays or preventable mistakes. It is also vital that confidence in our elections officials and our elections be rebuilt by ensuring this does not happen again. Pat Dooris at KGW has written a thoughtful assessment for preventative measures that can and should be taken to catch any such mistakes in the future and provides current examples of where these quality assurance practices are taking place in Oregon. I highly recommend checking it out. 

The voters, candidates, and the country are waiting for the results and the democratic process of electing our leaders to continue.

Clackamas County badly needs a clerk who will count your vote and can deliver timely election results. I stand ready as an experienced and award-winning elections administrator, to bring timely, accurate, secure, transparent, and accessible elections to the voters of our county. We can rise from this unfortunate mishandling with an experienced professional at the helm.

Elect Catherine McMullen for Clackamas County Clerk in the November General Election

SOURCES:

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/clackamas-county-election-delay-ballot-test/283-8bfec541-fe40-4c63-b13f-d8a6e1897052

Statement from Catherine McMullen to Voters Regarding the Current Status of May Primary Election Results in Our County

Good morning Clackamas County voters and Oregon elections community –

As an experienced election administrator and Clackamas County voter I am extremely concerned about the continued lack of accountability, transparency, and timeliness coming from the current clerk in response to the barcode errors and extreme delay of results reporting for the May Primary election. I wanted to share important information this morning about what the sparse results from last night show and more importantly what they do not show. Some badly needed context should be provided.

As you may know, the Election Night results reported from the current county clerk are severely incomplete and do not provide sufficient information, reporting heavily skewed results from only 15.78% of ballots returned by end of day Monday. We do not yet know the number of ballots returned on Election Day, nor the outcome or even the trend with most if not all contests in our county, as well as key state and federal contests.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan issued a statement late last night as I was arriving home from my work as an election administrator. The full statement is below and linked.

Statement from Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan on Clackamas County Elections Results Delay

SALEM, OR —  The following is a statement from Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan on the Clackamas County Elections Results Delay:

“As Oregon’s chief election officer – and a Clackamas County voter — I am deeply concerned about the delay in reporting from Clackamas County Elections tonight. While I am confident that the process they are following is secure, transparent and the results will be accurate, the county’s reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it’s time for Clackamas County Elections to do theirs.

“In recent days, my office and other counties have offered extra personnel to help with timely reporting. We eagerly await a response from county elections officials on how we can aid in the timely processing of results. I am disappointed that we have not seen more urgency from elections officials in Clackamas County.”

Here is my brief, expert analysis working with the same limited data we all have:

We received one unofficial report of results late last night, with a run time of 7:14 PM that included only 10,356 tallied votes. It is important to note, as the current clerk admitted to the Oregonian on Monday, that these results are heavily skewed as the majority of ballots affected by the barcode error were Democratic ballots, while the Republican and Nonaffiliated ballots were largely unaffected. As of early Wednesday morning we still do not have a report from the current clerk as to how many total ballots she had received as of Election Night, and we also do not know how many ballots there are with barcode errors that need to be duplicated or what the party breakdown is on those ballots (Democratic, Republican, or Nonaffiliated). 

We can, however, look at the turnout for the Governor’s contests to see what the breakdown is of voted ballots from this small sample. Of the 10,356 ballots reported, only 1,882 voters made a choice in the Democratic Party Governor’s race (48 undervotes, 2 overvotes) for a total of 1,932 Democratic Party ballots included in the first report of results. By contrast,6,352 voters made a choice in the Republican Party Governor’s race (138 undervotes, 36 overvotes) for a total of 6,526 Republican ballots included in the first report of results. That leaves 2,072 Nonaffiliated ballots.

The percentage break down of the current count is:

Total Ballots Reported 10, 356 100%

Democratic Party ballots   1,932 18.66%

Republican Party ballots   6,352 61.34%

Nonaffiliated ballots   2,072 20.00%

The initial results are heavily skewed toward reporting Republican Party choices; this is particularly important to note in the nonpartisan contests at the state and local level including County Commissioner Position 2 and 5. We should expect as voters for the outcomes of all contests to be updated and become clear as more information is provided, but in particular nonpartisan contest results have the potential to change dramatically because of the current uneven ratio of ballots counted along party lines.

Currently the current clerk is reporting 65,645 ballots returned as of end of day Monday, May 16. That means only 15.78% of ballots returned by end of day Monday were included in last night’s late results reporting. This is a far cry from established practice across the state of county clerks reporting results at least through Monday’s returns. We do not yet know how many ballots were returned on Election Day, Tuesday, or how many cast on time ballots will arrive with the new postmark rule. What we do know is that our current sample of ballots is skewed and too small to be relied on for any definitive results reporting.

At the time of sharing this information, I do not have any additional information about the emerging situation at the elections office or how the current clerk will ensure all votes are processed and accurately counted on time, and importantly that the election is certified by the June 13 statutory deadline. According to the Clackamas County Elections posted returns and results schedule we will not have another update on results until tomorrow, Thursday May 19.

I will share more information as it becomes available. Thank you for voting and for holding our elected officials accountable. Clackamas County voters, I will be on your ballot in November.

Sincerely –

Catherine McMullen, Voter, Certified Elections Administrator, and candidate for Clackamas County Clerk

Sources:

Election Day – Ballots Need to be Dropped Off or Postmarked Before 8 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2022

Contact: Jaime Mathis, jaime@jaimemathis.com, 503-708-3249

This press release can be viewed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Russian.

West Linn, OR– Clackamas County Clerk candidate and elections official, Catherine McMullen started an award winning voter education and outreach program because she wanted voters to be able to vote. “Over 1 million Oregon voters don’t end up voting in the primaries. I aim to change that so more folks can participate in our democracy.” Today is Election Day and McMullen is out doing her job as an elections administrator instead of campaigning to be Clackamas County’s top election official. “I walk my talk and have invested my career in becoming the best candidate for Clerk in Clackamas County so I’m working today! I’ll be back on the campaign trail once the ballots are in and counted.”  

Voters in Oregon can return their voted ballot to any Official Ballot Drop Site in the State of Oregon. Ballots must be dropped off by 8 PM or postmarked by TODAY if you choose to mail it. You can request to have it hand stamped at your local post office. If you choose to mail, make sure your ballot is postmarked for May 17 so it can be counted. If you put it in your mailbox, double-check that your mail carrier has picked up your ballot. 

The best way to return your voted ballot today is to an Official Ballot Drop Site. You can look up your nearest drop site by entering your residence address into a lookup tool from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/drop-box-locator.aspx.

If you need help with your ballot, it is not too late. County Clerk offices are required to be open each Election Day from 7AM – 8PM to assist voters. The elections office in Clackamas County is located at 1710 Red Soils Ct. in Oregon City.

Unofficial election results will be available shortly after 8PM tonight on the Secretary of State’s website https://results.oregonvotes.gov. Voters should be prepared for a number of voted ballots to not yet counted in this initial Election Night results reporting. Approximately two thirds of ballots were printed with blurred barcodes. The current clerk is now reporting that the majority of the affected ballots are Democratic party ballots.  If you haven’t yet voted make sure to turn in your ballot before 8 PM as it WILL be counted.

Catherine McMullen will be on the November General Election ballot. You can learn more about Catherine’s campaign for County Clerk at: ClackamasVoice.org

Catherine McMullen for Clackamas County Clerk

Know Where to Return Your Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2022

Contact: Jaime Mathis, jaime@jaimemathis.com, 503-708-3249

This press release can be viewed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Russian.

West Linn, OR.– Your ballot must be mailed and postmarked or returned to an Official Ballot Drop Site by May 17 before 8pm. As an Oregon voter you can return your ballot to any Official Ballot Drop Site in the state. To find your nearest drop site, visit the Secretary of State’s lookup tool and enter your residence address at:  www.oregonvotes.gov/dropbox.

If you need help with your ballot it is not too late. County Clerk offices are required to be open each Election Day from 7AM – 8PM to assist voters. The elections office in Clackamas County is located at 1710 Red Soils Ct. in Oregon City. 

Make a plan for how you will vote. Will you mail your ballot or drop it off? Have you located your official drop site? Do you have the address or contact information for your closest clerk’s office if you make a mistake on your ballot or run into trouble? Do you know where to go to check that your ballot has been received? You can do that at the Oregon Secretary of State’s website: OregonVotes.gov/myvote

As an experienced and certified elections administrator, Catherine McMullen is running to be Clackamas County’s next Clerk and head elections official. McMullen is responsible for creating and implementing an award winning voter education and outreach program for Oregon voters and wants to ensure they know just what to do to have their voices heard. “I take voting and elections administration very seriously. Without clear communication and accurate information, voters cannot exercise the fullness of their rights as citizens. When I take office, I pledge to make our elections processes precise, transparent, and accountable.”

The current clerk has a decades-long track record of misinforming voters, making costly ballot errors that result in re-prints, and hiring elections workers who have tampered with ballots. Most recently, Clerk Hall announced that up to two thirds of Clackamas County’s ballots had been misprinted with blurry barcodes, a scenario requiring hand duplication and thousands of dollars in additional labor costs to meet the challenge. 

McMullen says a change is needed. “The current clerk has had plenty of time to become competent in the position and has failed to do so. It’s time for her to step aside so our elections can be accurate and secure for all voters.”

You can find out more about McMullen’s campaign at: ClackamasVoice.org. The County Clerk contest will be on the November General Election ballot.

Official Ballot Drop Sites in Clackamas County

Sources: