More than 100 ballots sent out for the Aug. 11 special election may have arrived late due to a flub at Multnomah County Elections.
Elections director Tim Scott tells WW that his agency mistakenly marked 133 ballots for nonprofit mail rather than first class mail—the former being much slower.
However, Scott said, the county didn't violate any rules, since it wasn't required to mail those ballots out anyway. The several hundred ballots mailed via nonprofit mail instead of first class were generated after voters made last-minute changes to their voter registration after the deadline to do so.
The county still attempted to mail those ballots out as a "hail Mary pass" for voters who made last-minute changes, though it was under no obligation to do so.
"It's not all that unusual for ballots to be delivered that late for the situations I just described," Scott says.
Scott explained the error to multiple media outlets this morning, after Street Roots first reported that mail carriers were still delivering ballots to homes on election day.
Scott says the bundle of ballots left Multnomah County Elections on Friday, Aug. 7, and arrived at the U.S. Postal Service distribution center on Monday—the day before election day. It was then that county elections realized they had improperly marked the ballots.
Scott says the mismarking of ballots "entirely lies on the county" and not the USPS, which has received national scrutiny as President Donald Trump has repeatedly undermined the agency in an effort to sabotage vote by mail ahead of the November election. On Thursday, the Postal Service confirmed it had removed some blue mailboxes from Portland streets.