County Reports Equipment Failure on Election Night

The Clackamas County Elections Office reported an equipment failure with its envelope opener Tuesday night — just over two hours before statewide polls were expected to close.

However, the county said it was still on track to release initial results at or shortly after 8 p.m. Election Night. The results will include approximately 165,000 ballots — which is what officials expected to release in the initial tally.

Technicians are gathering parts, and the machine is expected to be repaired overnight, the county said on Twitter. The machine should be ready for operation when workers return Wednesday morning, according to a media statement from Clackamas County.

The envelope opener that malfunctioned is not connected to any of the ballot readers or smart machines and does not affect the ballots themselves, the county said. Officials do not believe the incident will alter their expected timeline of completing ballot processing by Friday.

“If, for whatever reason, we cannot operate the machine tomorrow morning, the ballots will be opened by hand,” the county said in the press release. “The machine had received preventative maintenance on Sept. 30, and nothing was found to be wrong.”

A photo of the malfunctioning envelope opener. Courtesy Clackamas County.

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