As polling stations and elections offices across the nation experience widespread “mistakes” and “anomalies”, one elections office in Oregon has kicked out all Republican volunteers. The Clatsop County elections office had originally arranged for 31 signature verification volunteers, which spanned many party lines. But now they’ve apparently decided to exclude the Republican party from this process.
Clatsop News initially made a post describing how it was to be: “With respect to elections volunteers, there are 16 Democrats in 15 Republican / Independent/ Non affiliated voters combined…of those 15 approximately 10 or 11 are Republicans.“
Apparently county clerk Tracie Krevanko decided to change that. The Northwest Observer reports:
The Oregon Republican Party released the following statement after raising questions about the exclusion of Republican volunteers from critical election boards in Clatsop County:
“It was brought to our attention in the past couple of days that Republican volunteers have been excluded as election workers from the Clatsop County Election Office Signature Verification and Drop Box Collection boards by County Elections Clerk Tracie Krevanko (D-Warrenton), even though Republican volunteers had been added to the ballot counting boards,” said Oregon Republican Party Communications Director Kevin Hoar. “We contacted Ms. Krevanko to request that Republican volunteers be added to these boards, but our request was denied.”
Sixty percent of the Signature Verification and Drop Box Collection Boards consist of Democrats and zero Republicans. Clatsop County is one of the counties that comprises the highly contested open seat House District 32 race between Republican/Independent Mayor of Tillamook Suzanne Weber and Democrat Debbie Boothe-Schmidt. Clatsop is also considered a swing county in the very competitive races for the statewide offices of Secretary of State and State Treasurer.
“It is troubling that such a simple, easy step to ensure transparency and inclusivity during such a politically-charged time isn’t even being considered,” said Hoar. “Why even invite the appearance of political favoritism in Clatsop County?”
According to correspondence with the Clatsop County Clerk, in contrast to nearly every other county in the state, Krevanko had initially planned to exclude all citizen participation in the election’s process as mandated by the Secretary of State’s Vote By Mail manual, until required to do by the Clatsop County Manager, Don Bohn, after statements of concern from Clatsop County constituents.
“Legal counsel for the Oregon Republican Party is continuing to try and gain clarity on this possibly intentional exclusion of Republican election office volunteers in the hope of rectifying the situation as soon as possible. It is certainly to the benefit of all Clatsop County voters, and indeed all Oregon voters in this particular case, to maintain the highest standards for fair and equal election administration and to make every possible effort to maximize voter trust in the ballot counting process,” added Hoar.
This is just the latest example of duplicitous elections and ballot business, of which Oregon has been a focal point.