BEND, OR -- Oregon’s 36 counties begin the hand recount of more than a million ballots cast for Measure 92, today. The measure that would allow labeling of genetically modified food failed statewide by just over 800 votes – not enough to avoid an automatic recount.
Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship says volunteers have been chosen to scrutinize ballots. "We are going to have 8 counting boards. Each board is made up of four members of differing parties. I understand there’s gonna be observers from both sides of the issue that will be here, and they have to be authorized by their particular organization." She tells KBND News, "Each board gets one precinct, and we go through a process as outlined in the Secretary of State’s directive. We’ve got ballot counting procedures that we’ll follow."
Blankenship says the local recount should take two days. This is only the third hand recount Blankenship has conducted in her 12 years as clerk, "We had a recount 4 years ago, in 2010 for a Bend city council race, and then the last statewide recount we had was in June 2008," says Blankenship. "So, just based on those numbers, we’re anticipating we can get it completed in two days. If not, we’ll ask for volunteers to come back on Thursday and complete that." Crook and Jefferson county recounts are expected to last only through today.
The Secretary of State’s office issued a directive with recount guidelines, including a December 12th deadline.