The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners met in an emergency session today, hoping to gain more information about ballot fraud that took place last week in the county elections office.

But County Clerk Sherry Hall, the woman who presumably has many of the answers to questions posed by County Chair Charlotte Lehan  in a memo last night, declined to appear at the emergency session.

Instead, Hall issued this statement:

"On Wednesday, October 31, my office reported an incident of apparent ballot tampering at the County Elections Office involving a temporary County Elections employee.

After this incident was discovered on Wednesday, I immediately reported this matter to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

The Secretary of State’s Office forwarded this matter to the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate possible criminal felony violations of Oregon’s Election Laws by the temporary Elections employee.

My office is fully cooperating with the Department of Justice and Secretary of State’s office with this investigation.

At the request of the Department of Justice and in order not to jeopardize this ongoing investigation, I am not commenting further on the details of this investigation at this time.

I do want to say that the Clackamas County Elections Division has very clear policies, standards and expectations for all full time and temporary employees who handle and interact with ballots. Any tampering with ballots is absolutely inexcusable and unacceptable in my office and will be dealt with immediately, as was the case in this matter.

The temporary employee in question is being investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice. I will not be releasing any information about this temporary employee at this time.

The County Elections Division handled this situation exactly as was required by law and as is expected by our citizens. Voter integrity in Clackamas County is paramount to me, my employees and Clackamas County.

Rest assured that every step is being made to ensure the integrity of the Clackamas County Elections Process and every voter’s ballot."