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County Clerks Prepare For Ballot Tabulation Under Increased Scrutiny

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Election staffers are preparing for a deluge of ballots today and tomorrow, with around 70 thousand expected by 8 pm Tuesday, or at least postmarked by then.
 
With so many still questioning the legitimacy of the process, County Clerk Steve Dennison is proud of the work he and other elections officials do for Oregon. “I know who the clerks are around the state. I trust each and every one of them. I’ve been working in elections for a long time. The common thread with everybody: they have that same air of trusted public servants who just want to get it right. Nobody wants to make a headline and have something happen on their watch.”
 
Former Gubernatorial candidate Marc Thielman filed a federal lawsuit last month, claiming a lack of public confidence in the voting process.  Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and 12 Oregon counties including Deschutes are named as defendants. Dennison is pleased a judge denied the plaintiff’s request to monitor ballots and collect forensic evidence, “I trust in our security processes. And even some of the wording that was used in there saying there was no credible evidence in support of the allegations. I wholeheartedly support the ruling of course, and I’m thankful that the judge found the same.”
 
Dennison says he understands the increased scrutiny over elections, “That doesn’t change the fact that we’re here doing the same work that we’ve done for a long, long time. And I’m excited that the public that is curious to learn more about it, and people that do come through to observe or for a tour feel a lot better about the people and the processes and procedures that are conducted in managing these elections.”
 
Dennison anticipates Deschutes voter turnout will end up around 75%.

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