A great deal of pride

I have felt a great deal of pride in our local system of voting as I read of troubles during primary elections in other areas of the country. As an volunteer observer at the Marion County elections office during ballot processing for the last several years, I have seen a smooth, impressive process that assures that every valid vote counts and all citizens are treated with respect.

~ Carla Moyer, Salem Oregon

Wally Benson on Bill Burgess

I’ve been an election observer twice at the Marion County Clerk’s office, watching how ballots are handled and how the public is treated when they come in. Bill Burgess and his well-trained staff have always run a smooth election and dealt courteously and efficiently with the public.

There has never been a sniff of impropriety during the elections I’ve observed. People come into the office with myriad issues, from a pet chewing up their ballot to a family member mistakenly signing another family member’s ballot. Under Bill’s leadership, his staff always knows what to do and how to fix any problem voters have.  And they do it with utmost respect to each voter.

Honestly, I’ve observed the election in all aspects:  in the main public office, where ballots are dropped off or people with ballot problems get a new ballot and fill it out there in a private area;  to the staff who sort and collect ballots and get them ready for the next step; to election workers — two to a table, never of the same party affiliation — who look at every ballot to be sure the voter’s intent is clear.

This process is about as smooth-running and even-handed as you could hope for.  Very businesslike, very professional, and very respectful of every voter’s ballot.

I fully support Bill Burgess’ oversight of the office and have nothing but respect for his staff.

Wally Benson