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Bend company printed blurry 5th District election ballots; Clackamas County clerk cites lack of certification

(Update: Adding video, comments by Clackamas County clerk)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A blurry ballot situation that's been holding up the final count in a closely watched Fifth Congressional District primary election can be traced back to a Bend business.

In Clackamas County, roughly two-thirds of the ballots printed had blurry or faded barcodes that were unable to be machine-scanned.

As a result, some key elections, like the Democratic nominee for Oregon's 5th District, are up in the air.

“My thought is, the worst part is for the candidates who are having to wait so long,” Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall said. 

Hall held a news conference Friday addressing the blurry ballots, which the Secretary of State's Office confirmed were printed by Moonlight BPO in Bend.

Clackamas County is the only county in the state to use that printing company. Many other counties use Ryder Election Services, another Bend-based company.

But Hall said before this year, the county had complete trust in Moonlight.

“This printer, we’ve used for 10 years,” Hall said. “We have never had a problem, and we were shocked with this one -- and I don’t intend to ever use them again.”

Hall said the county chose the ballot printer a decade ago because it was typically certified each election season by a tally system vendor called HART.

“But HART discontinued the program of certifying printers in 2020,” Hall said. 

The printer was not decertified this year, but was never formally checked.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to Moonlight BPO for comment Friday and was told “the inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate party,” but have not heard back.

When asked directly if Clackamas County will move on from the bend printer, Hall said this: “All of that is in discussion. For me, I just need to make sure this election gets done accurately and on time."

The county now has about 200 employees helping count ballots, and will be posting updates every night at 7 p.m.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

Comments

67 Comments

      1. It’s a “dry run” ! Wake the hell up people… “blurry barcodes-hanging chads-voter ID not required- 2000 Mules- signed ballots that all look the same- thousands of ballots returned late- no postage- half completed” ??? This is exactly how you ended up with Little Lyin’ Joey- hyper inflation- $6/gallon gas- a tanking stock market- a Fed in disarray- and a mild virus that has killed a million Americans” !!! Have a nice “head in the sand” day !

        1. Only thing is, you can say the same crap about any election. For example did Trump really beat Hillary? Or maybe Al gore should ask for his loss to be overturned w all that evidence trump has?? I get the fear, but holy hyperbole Batman, calm down! You’re gonna push us conservatives off the cliff w that kind of “expertise”.

          1. Once again the local halfwits miss the big picture in favor of a personal attack… Bennie ! shake yerself !! Who the hell cares who’s benefited… the point is its getting more obvious and worse !!! Demokrats last election didn’t even argue against the fact that there were illegal ballots cast- their position was that there weren’t enough to change the outcome ! What the hell is that kind of thinking ? And now we know that there were indeed two major events in play- Hillary’s organized coup with the help of the FBI and the media- and ballot stuffing in swing states that did indeed sway the results… why are you all against fair an ethical elections ?

            1. Barney, you’re literally imitating Sean Hannity rn. Haha remember when I sd the fear is understandable? So what you’re saying is that our prior elections were illegal right? Well they weren’t. Unless U have solid proof u can share, but the courts have rejected your claims as rumors and unfounded accusations, basically lies. I know that’s hard, but it is a fake narrative so shake it off and move on. Lets focus on our community. Like these gas prices that are killing the middle class / poor rn? Grocery bills are up $50-100 more a week for a single person here in our county. How do we keep our air and water clean? Oh, how do we find a mayor who will stick it thru w us till the end and not resign when it gets tough? Look at our community hospital too, St Charles is a mess! Our elderly cant afford care or medications. Recent report states only 17% of the people that live in bend can afford to live here, that’s 83% struggling to save money and live a basic humble life! See u at the next town hall? Just promise to drop the Sean Hannity routine #focus

              1. Thank you, how2benice, for the straight story. These–as you list them–are the issues that matter, not cranky attempts at disinformation designed to tear our society apart.

                1. You mean like the Russia Russia Russia thing ALL DONE BY THE CLINTON AND MEDIA FACTION and proven to be exactly what I just said…. yet your kind believed every word of it printed by z21

                  Turns out, every single bit of it was a lie started by Hillary Clinton and done to take down Trump. NONE of you people believed us and the media refused to report on it. Now you believe the lie because the media won’t tell you the truth

                  And NOBODY asks why

            2. How was the FBI “helping” her when it revealed in the week before the election that it found Hillary e-mails forwarded to Anthony Weiner’s laptop? Arguably, that one single incident of FBI “help” torpedoed her campaign.

              1. Ask Barney to run the stories coming out on the Durham report for days on end like we get for the snapping turtles and anything anti-trump…. you’ll hear EXACTLY how the Federal Bureau of Instigators pulled it off

        2. Get YOUR head out of that place where the sun don’t shine. #1 There was NO FRAUD (other than that Insurrectionist Traitor that Stunk Up the White House for Four years).#2 This company printed ballots for that county for 10 years with no problem, do you really think they thought “Lets print the ballots blurry so we can lose that great contract” Of all the asinine conspiracies you always spew forth, this ones a real doozy, even for You.

      1. That County has been using them for 10 years with NO Problems. Thier website looks professional. I’m scratching my head trying to figure out your point.

        1. If I have to spell it out for you then I understand why you are scratching your head. Actually, I bet you are quite bald from scratching. Maybe start with the fact that they redrew this voting district under the democratic administration. An area that has both republican and democratic voters. Then all of a sudden, the ballots in the primary are messed up. They have to call people in to “transfer the votes to another ballot” (Who knows who these people are and how they vote, but the opportunity for fraud is enormous). Is this a practice run for November? Who knows. Do you ever wonder about anything you have not already been told by your favorite news station?

      2. Your link shows a professional printing company with 13 Security Certificates and awards, and a very clean easy to navigate website. Did I miss anything?

    1. Put a lot of thought into that one, didn’t you…. But in reality, it makes no difference how a ballot is received. If it won’t scan, it won’t scan. Whether I hand it in directly or mail it in, if it’s blurry and the machine won’t read it, what changes?

  1. I would hope some observant voters would have alerted the proper officials prior to election day, perhaps asked for a replacement?

    1. Word has is that they knew about the flaw in the ballots prior to sending them out. Since there wasn’t time to fix it they sent them out with the flaw.

  2. I wonder if the printer was paid for this defective product. I wonder how much the inept printer “contributed” to the politicians in Crackamas County. No point in wondering what other consideration the printer gave to Crackamas County officials, unless someone is held to account. Fat chance.

  3. All of this paranoia about who smeared the ballots and why is almost silly. Who really benefits from illegible bar codes? No one. The problem lies with a lousy printer, not from any conspiracy to influence the election. In the end all ballots will be counted correctly, accurately, and legally.

    1. This nation and our states have allowed a high level of sloppiness to enter into the whole election process- from Hillary’s bought and paid for Steele Dossier (an attempt at an October surprise that you fell for)- to these never ending anomalies and dry runs to see what will pass. Your constant chirping about conspiracies is an attempt to enable this garbage- you want to break the rules- not just bend them… sorry cheater- the gigs up- you should be demanding excellence and absolute integrity in our election process- instead of rooting for Haiti !

      1. That’s a lot of paranoid accusations that you try to pin on a lousy bar code printing job, Wishey. Maybe you ought to check under your bed to see if the FBI is hiding there too.

        1. Why is it the vast majority of your comments simply refer to conspiracy theories or paranoid accusations… No wonder you bought the Steele Dossier hook line and sinker… yer too busy dismissing real crimes to know one when it bites you in the bum. Stop being intellectually lazy- it’s what put little lyin’ Joey and Hunter in the White House.

      1. Prove what? I don’t see any evidence that it’s anything more than a lousy printing job. And the election officials (those in the know) have stated that. Time for you to go look for commies along with Wishey.

        1. Prove that they’ll be counted correctly accurately and legally, for one. You can’t prove ANY of that will take place. Then again… then again… you people don’t understand that the FBI set up the kidnapping of the Michigan governor, then the head of that operation moved on to January 6. You will refuse to believe it until you’re told by z21….. and they refuse to report on or about it AFTER they ran quite damming stories about the “kidnappers” being right-wing terrorists

  4. Why have them printed in Bend? Seems like there should be someone in their area that could provide that service.

    Moonlight has been around for awhile. I believe it used to be under the ownership of the Purcell family.

    1. I used to publish a small trade paper, 10,000 copies every month. I had my paper printed 125 miles from my office for one good reason, price. Printing is a ‘commodity’, in that many outfits can do it, but you just need to find one that is reliable and has a good price. It is a very routine procedure; after the first copies are run, you pull out a random copy, scan it both by eye, and, in the case of bar code, with a magnifier. You do this occasionally during the entire run, because you need to catch any glitch before it pumps out hundreds or thousands of bad copies. The printer was just very, very sloppy. In this day of hiring problems, it could well be that he was understaffed and turned his back on the machines for an hour or more, while the job was running.

    2. All of Kate’s people are here. Her hospital man Joe, her media man Barney, her ties to the State SC Justices…. hell all of her keys are here. Follow the money

  5. It was only a matter of time till Bend /Dashoots County Oregon went all in on the steal- the lies- the thievery. We’ve seen the constant decline in morals and ethics coming out of Bend for some time- the dispensaries- the homeless camps- the crime… now that social ills have entered your one time outdoor paradise- here comes the Demokants to save you from yerself- with higher taxes- wealth distribution- socialist programs to keep you all dependent ! Buncha suckers.

    1. Who is stealing from who in this conspiracy of yours? It’s the primaries. I am purposely oversimplifying it for you but the gist of a primary election is to decide which D runs against which R in the general election. So in your conspiracy is the printer on the take for the Ds or the Rs?

      1. See my posts above- a better question- is why don’t ding dongs like you demand absolute reliability and integrity in our election process- why accept third world antics that gave us Joe and Hunter Biden… ya haven’t learned a damn thing have you !

      1. Pretty simple Eric in Redmond. One D is corruptible and the other isn’t. Must be a conspiracy theory huh? Those pesky conservatives and their conspiracy theories. How do you explain so many conspiracies? And the only people that believe in conspiracy theories are the people calling them conspiracy theories.

    2. BGHW ~ lol. This business mentioned (Moonlight) has been around for 35 years. Probably not a Dem issue. But keep up your conspiracy theories. They provide laughter for me.

  6. Who was it in Bend that was in charge of quality control way before this could have been the problem it is now? Z21 should dig into this side of the story.

  7. This business has been in existence for 35 years and printing ballots for Clackamas County for 10. Unfortunately, an employee screwed up and now the business is behind the 8 ball. By the way, is this a union print shop?

      1. You won’t hear about any of that on KTVZ. They piunded the Russia lies over and over and now you can’t even get them to admit they were wrong. Barney will say the sources were “trusted institutions” well those “trusted institutions” we now know lied through their teeth.

        1. It makes one wonder how many other “stories” they knew about (covid-Inflation-blurry ballots) yet continued to promote because it was driving ad revenue… that was never the intention of the free press- maybe it’s time to remove their place from the First Amendment- they are no different than any other huckster or salesman… and they lie-chat- and deceive their customers all the time… just look at the owner of this ballot printing shop- I bet ya they still got paid !

      2. Certainly hope that “Clackamas-gate” doesn’t spawn an investigation similar to the 3 years and $3.8 million spent by John Durham to indict a single individual–Michael Sussmann. Sussmann is not being tried for spying in Trump Tower or hacking Trump campaign e-mails–none of that actually happened. Sussmann went to the FBI voluntarily to share information he obtained through public Internet access (not by hacking Trump) that revealed ties between Trump and the Russian Alfa Bank.

        Instead, Durham seems to be cutting his losses by charging Sussmann with lying to the FBI, even though everyone in the FBI–including current Durham witness FBI counsel James Baker was well aware Sussmann was affiliated with the Clinton campaign.

        1. You seem to be making conclusions about a criminal case that just got underway two days ago… why ? What are you worried about- let the evidence lead where it may- right to the doorsteps of Clinton and the DNC- Sussmann is about to squeal and will take others down with him. We’ve waited years for this Billy Boy- now sit back and let the squirming begin.

    1. What do you expect from a nation that no longer teaches cursive writing… how the hell does anyone under forty sign their name… with an X ?

    2. Seemed pretty simple and straightforward to me.. voting. Pick your candidate check the box and mail. Unless you procrastinate and are required to drop off.

      1. You still have to sign your ballot… so how does the under forty set who never learned cursive do that… with a pin prick of blood ?

  8. While I do love me some Bend, the work ethic and/or sense of professional pride is pretty non-existent in this town outside of the beer and weed industries. Especially the trades, which seems to be a bunch of cranky “natives” who no call/no show most of the time and when they actually do show up, make things worse than before. So the only thing I’m shocked about is why anything of consequence was ordered from a business based here!

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