GOLD BEACH – The Curry County Elections Office has discovered a problem with some of the 13,151 ballots mailed out for the May 15 Primary Election and is asking voters for help in fixing it.
A double image of the information was printed on one side of some ballots. It’s not only difficult for voters to read it, but the electronic ballot machine can’t scan the information, said County Clerk Reneé Kolen.
“We are asking voters to check to see if the back of the ballot is blurred,” she said. “If you have been issued one of the ballots with the blurred image, or if you have voted and returned a ballot with the blurred image, please contact our office for a replacement ballot.”
She said the elections office can be reached at 541-247-3297 or toll free at 877-739-4218.
Connie Higgins, chief deputy county clerk, said the damaged ballots look like two images printed on the back side.
“At first glance, it looks very blurry,” she said. “The printer audit said it was just a jar. He said it should be just a handful of ballots.”
The ballots come from the printer to the elections office, where they are mailed out.
“We order 15,000,” Higgins said. “We do quality control checks. Somehow those have gotten past us.”
Ballots coming in
As of Tuesday morning, 3,426 ballots, or 26.06 percent, had been returned.
The 24-hour ballot drive-up drop boxes, located at Brookings and Port Orford city halls and next to the courthouse in Gold Beach, are open and will remain open until 8 p.m. election day. The ballots also may be returned by mail but they must arrive at the elections office on election day or before.
“Postmarks don’t count,” Kolen said.
She reminded voters who drop their ballots in the drop boxes that they do not need to put a stamp on those ballots like they need to do if they mail their choices.
Local races on the primary ballot include two county commissioners races.
There are five candidates for Commissioner Position 2, now held by incumbent George Rhodes of Brookings. Those candidates are Rhodes, former commissioner Lucie La Bonté of Gold Beach, David Brock Smith of Port Orford, Randy Dubbs Dowler of Brookings and Leroy Blodgett of Brookings.
There are four candidates for Commissioner Position 3, now held by incumbent Commissioner Bill Waddle of Brookings. Those candidates are Waddle, the county’s former director of Economic Development Susan Brown of Gold Beach, Greg Empson of Gold Beach and John Herzog of Brookings.
Although all other current county officeholders are unopposed, only one appears on the primary ballot: County Assessor Jim Kolen, who will be declared elected following the primary election unless someone receives more write-in votes than he receives.
The other incumbent officers who are unopposed are Sheriff John Bishop, Treasurer Deborah Crumley and County Clerk Reneé Kolen. Kolen said those names will be on the November General Election, since there are not enough candidates to require a primary vote. She said that is because those three offices are constitutional officers, which, by law, must be elected in the November election.
Curry County District Attorney Everett Dial and Circuit Court Judge Jesse Margolis are also unopposed and appear on the primary ballot, but they are elected state officials and can be elected in the primary.
Residents of the Central Curry School District #1 also have a five-year local option levy for school operations on their ballot.