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Oregon GOP funding partial re-count in governor race

Oregon GOP funding partial re-count in governor race

December 9th, 2010 by TIM FOUGHT, Associated Press in News

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.