Oregon GOP funding partial re-count in governor race

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Republicans are funding a test re-count of the votes for governor in three Multnomah County precincts, aiming to see whether major irregularities turn up that would warrant a broader re-count.

The Republicans are putting up “a few thousand dollars” for the re-count, to take place Monday. It will involve a token number of ballots — 8,347 in a county that Democrat John Kitzhaber carried by 121,000 on his way to defeating Republican Chris Dudley statewide by 22,000 votes.

Republican State Chairman Bob Tiernan said Wednesday the re-count is a “cheap form of insurance,” and if it does turn up major irregularities, the party could seek a wider re-count.

Tiernan said that on election night, his Multnomah County observers saw elections workers carrying in ballot boxes without seals and spotted an open door to a computer room — raising the possibility of someone hacking into the tally.

“They’re just a very loosey-goosey operation, and I think it needs to be tightened up,” he said.

County spokesman David Austin wouldn’t address the specific allegations but said Multnomah elections workers are “professionals who do their jobs very well.”

“We adhere to all the rules and regulations as mandated by the state,” Austin said.

The Democrats’ state executive director, Trent Lutz, said he was confident the Multnomah County results would stand up, as is the case in most Oregon re-counts.

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