Plea deal results in 90-day sentence
A former Clackamas County elections employee was sentenced today to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to official misconduct and unlawfully altering a cast ballot.
Deanna Swenson, a temporary, part-time elections employee, marked two ballots that were left partially blank by voters. Swenson’s illegal conduct did not affect the outcome of any races.
“Department of Justice investigators and prosecutors took this case from the initial tip through investigation to indictment and guilty plea in less than six months,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “Anyone attempting to subvert Oregon’s elections should know from this quick and successful prosecution that such conduct is unacceptable.”
“This prosecution sends a strong message: voter fraud will not be tolerated in Oregon,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “We are holding Ms. Swenson accountable for violating the public trust. Oregon has one of the strongest ballot security systems in the country. On my watch, it will remain so.”
A co-worker reported seeing Swenson altering a ballot on Oct. 31, 2012. Clackamas County elections officials immediately relieved her of her duties and notified the Secretary of State’s office, which referred it to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. A Clackamas County grand jury in December indicted Swenson on two counts each of Unlawfully Altering a Cast Ballot, Unlawfully Voting More Than Once and Official Misconduct in the First Degree.
All counties must submit annual security plans. Clackamas County officials followed the plan in the Swenson case, said Secretary Brown.
Swenson is the 13th person to be prosecuted for voter fraud since Oregon went to all vote-by-mail elections in 2000. During that time frame, 23.8 million ballots were cast in statewide elections in Oregon.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Matthew R. McCauley prosecuted the case.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Oregon Secretary of State