County clerks in Oregon would be appointed rather than elected under a measure in the Oregon legislature. A Committee in Salem heard testimony today on a proposed constitutional amendment.
County Clerks are responsible for record keeping and operating elections. They serve four-year terms.
After a ballot-tampering incident in Clackamas County last fall, critics said some clerks are not qualified.
Democratic Representative Phil Barnhart says most Oregon clerks are good at their jobs, but:
“The duties of the clerk are substantial, they’re complex," Barnhart says. "Success requires substantial capacity on the part of the clerk, and yet the constitution is essentially silent on the qualifications of the clerk.”
Some members of the Committee say they don’t want to take the power of choosing county clerks out of voters’ hands. They said the ballot acts as its own review and method of removal.
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