Deputy elections director sent to oversee ballot processing

Secretary of State Kate Brown announced on Sunday that she is expanding the team overseeing the processing of ballots for the General Election in Clackamas County.

Brown said she is sending Brenda Bayes, the deputy director for elections in Oregon, to serve as an elections monitor. Bayes will join Fred Neal, a retired state elections official, who Brown had previously sent to Clackamas County.

According to Brown, a private security guard and state trooper assigned to oversee access to the elections building are also working under her direction.

“Voters and Clackamas County elections officials need to know that we are keeping a very close eye on the processing of ballots,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “The team I have in place, together with the investigators from the Oregon Department of Justice, are working to ensure the integrity, transparency and accountability of this election in Clackamas County.”

The justice department has launched a criminal investigation into an allegation that a temporary Clackamas County elections worker tampered with one or more ballots, reportedly to favor Republicans. No charges have been filed. The worker under investigation has not been named and no details of the allegation have been released.

The allegation was received by Brown’s office on Wednesday. She referred it to the justice department, which initiated the investigation.

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