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Statewide Recount Of Measure 53 Vote Underway

The first statewide election recount in eight years is underway in Oregon.

Elections workers are double-checking ballots for Measure 53, which would give officers more power to keep property seized in criminal investigations.  Correspondent Chris Lehman dropped in to watch the hand recount in Albany, Oregon.

Elections workers recount votes for Measure 53 at the Linn County Courthouse in Albany, Oregon.

Here at the Linn County Courthouse, 20 people are going over every single ballot cast in last month’s primary.

Yes for Measure 53 goes in one stack, No goes in another.

Linn County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller says it will take two days to count the 31,000 ballots by hand. The workers are sitting four to a table, counting precinct by precinct.

Druckenmiller says there are strict procedures to make sure the tally is accurate.

Steve Druckenmiller:  “They’ll arrive at a count, which they don’t know what the count was for that precinct, because they count blind, because that’s how we want it.  Because if you tell somebody what a number is, that’s not a good thing.”

It’s a similar scene in each of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Statewide, Measure 53 won by just 550 votes the first time around, out of about 980,000 cast.

This automatic recount lacks the drama that took place in Washington state four years ago.  That’s when Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire was elected to office by just 129 votes.

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