Oregon congressman's campaign official improperly gained access to ballot counting facilities: complaint

On Friday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Democratic congressional hopeful Jamie McLeod-Skinner has filed a complaint alleging a member of the campaign for Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) improperly gained access to a ballot counting facility in Clackamas County before it had opened.

"On Thursday, McLeod-Skinner filed a formal complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office — as reported by Willamette Week — alleging that someone from Schrader’s campaign was allowed to observe the ballot counting process before the office opened," reported April Erlich. "[Clackamas County Clerk Sherry] Hall told reporters that a Schrader campaign representative was let into the building around 7 a.m., but they shouldn’t have entered the building until it opened at 8:30 a.m. Someone from McLeod-Skinner’s campaign wasn’t allowed into the observer’s area until after 8:30 a.m."

“It’s possible someone used their badge to get in and someone else followed them in,” said Hall, according to the report. “It could have been someone who doesn’t work in the elections office.”

"The observer’s room is a long hallway where visitors can watch the ballot counting process through glass pane windows," noted the report. "Observers can only get into the building using a badge; a security protocol that appeared lax on Wednesday, the day after election day. OPB staff and other visitors were able to enter the observer’s room without a badge, and no one was requiring visitors to fill out a sign-in sheet."

Schrader, a moderate who had to be guilted into supporting key elements of President Joe Biden's agenda by local activists, is seeking election to Oregon's newly-drawn 5th Congressional District, which on the newly redistricted map contains some territory that never has been represented by him.

As of Friday evening, McLeod-Skinner, a more liberal challenger, is leading the vote by 20 points, although there are tens of thousands of ballots left to count.