I write this letter to endorse Bill Burgess’ candidacy for Marion County Clerk. Bill Burgess has served with distinction as Clerk since 2005 and deserves another term.
As an attorney who taught at Willamette University College of Law for a number of years, I am familiar with the process and fairness issues that are important in an election office. I have worked as an observer in the Marion County Elections Office run by Clerk Burgess. His office is efficiently and smoothly run; the employees are polite and helpful to citizens who come in with questions. The vote counting process is extremely well-run with knowledgeable employees and a number of temporary workers brought in to help with the counting. The leadership of Bill Burgess gives us a very fair and efficiently run office.
I will be voting for Bill Burgess for Marion County Clerk on November 3 and I hope you will too.
I observed two elections in Marion County: 2012 and 2016. The quiet efficiency of the very involved procedure is a testament to Bill Burgess’ command and control of the elections part of his office.
Let me describe the layout: There are four rooms: An outer office where the public is served, a small room where signatures are validated, A large room with about thirty or more tables where the ballots are opened, sorted and prepared for scanning. Another room where the scanners actually tabulate the totals. All of this has to work together, in order, and is overseen by Mr. Burgess.
Bill personally briefed us election observers about what was going on and then we watched it unfold. Elections can be nasty. We are fortunate to have a fine election system in Oregon and Bill plays a part in making it work: Making sure everyone can vote and then accurately making the count.
I have full confidence in not only Bill’s competence, but his desire to get it right for the candidates and the people of Marion county.
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.
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.