Thursday, December 9, 2004
A replacement date has been set for some voters to mark their ballot for the Hood River County Commissioner race.
On Monday, the county board selected Sept. 21 as the election day for District 2 voters to choose between incumbent Robert Hastings and his challenger Maui Meyer.
Although Meyer captured the seat in the May primary, that election is in the process of being decertified because of a procedural error.
Last week the county discovered that 200 ballots had been sent to voters outside of the district’s boundaries. Dave Meriwether, county administrator, said the mistake apparently occurred when the district number was changed to match a city precinct after the properties were annexed. Since the commissioner race was close, with Meyer winning by 17 votes, Meriwether said the county had no choice but to decertify the election.
He said it is unclear because of the confidentiality of the voting process how many of the 200 ineligible ballots were returned, but the number is likely higher than 17.
Meriwether said the two other races on the May ballot, the contest for Hood River County Sheriff and the Local Option tax levy for school funding, were unaffected by the mixup. He said these issues were open to the entire county and not confined to a specific district.
The problem with the District 2 race was discovered by Hastings while he was preparing for a recount.
Meriwether has asked state officials to scrutinize the local election process to ensure that future mistakes are avoided.