By News-Register staff • 

Clerk to test ballot tally system

County clerk Brian Van Bergen said the system is tested four times for every election: twice before the election, once on Election Day and again after all ballots have been counted, as required under state law.

This year’s primary election is May 19.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, those attending the 10 a.m. test will need to bring their own masks and any other protective equipment, and social distancing requirements will be enforced, Van Bergen said.

To test the tally machines, the clerk’s office produces and marks test ballots, including writing in some candidates and leaving some blank, and runs them through the system to ensure they are counted accurately, Van Bergen said in a news release.

If different ballots are required for different voters — for example because the ballot includes measures from various cities, or a person’s voter affiliation means they receive different ballots — each version is tested, Van Bergen said.

He said the machines must match the actual ballots tested perfectly for the tests to be accurate.

For more information, call the clerk’s office at 503-434-7518, or visit its website at


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