According to the Clatsop County Clerk and Elections Office, a number of county voters received incorrect ballots for the May 20 primary election.The error involves the race for the District 5 seat on the county board of commissioners. A total of 344 voters living in District 5 received ballots without the District 5 race listed, while 147 voters living outside the district received ballots with the District 5 race, for a total of 491 incorrect ballots.
Dale Barrett and Lianne Thompson are the two candidates in the District 5 race. The district has 3,502 registered voters.
The error stems from the redrawing of the board of commissioners district boundaries in 2011, specifically voter Precinct 38 in Seaside. The redrawn lines placed part of Precinct 38 in District 5 and the rest of the precinct in District 2. An input error identified some precinct voters in the wrong commissioner district.
The error was brought to the attention of the Clerk's Office on Monday, May 19 by two voters. As of Tuesday morning, a total of 42 erroneous ballots had been received by the Clerk's Office.
The error only affects certain ballots for Precinct 38.
According to County Clerk Maeve Grimes, candidates Barrett and Thompson have been contacted about the error. Grimes said that after conferring with the Oregon Secretary of State's office, she is proceeding with the vote tally. If the margin between the two District 5 candidates is less than the number of incorrect ballots received she will formally contest the election in court and seek a re-vote.
If the race is contested, a judge would determine if another election would need to take place.