Sherry Hall strikes again: All Clackamas County marriages since May 19 may be invalid

Sherry Hall has refused to sign all marriage certificates -- instead stamping them 'CLACKAMAS COUNTY CLERK'.

By Tom Civiletti of Oak Grove, Oregon. Tom Civiletti is a longtime Clackamas County progressive activist.

Once upon a time, John Kauffman was Clackamas County Clerk.

The office ran smoothly and elections were run fairly and legally. Then Kauffman took the job running elections in Multnomah County and was replaced in Clackamas County by Sherry Hall in 2002. Hall's tenure has seen a stream of mistakes and poor judgment, many of which suggest partisanship.

The problems have included sending the wrong ballots to voters, not sending ballots to voters, Voters' Pamphlets with incorrect or missing information, poor process in the verification of petition signatures, exclusion of Democratic Party observers from ballot counting, a temporary employee marking selections on voters' ballots, using the term 'Democrat Party' on ballots [did the hair on the back of your neck just stand up?], refusing to accept filings from Democratic Party precinct committee people, and attempting to charge citizens filing an initiative petition for the cost of an election.

Now Sherry Hall's questionable performance has impacted the Recording Division. Peter Toll's column "Sherry Hall Up To New Tricks Contrary to Law" on the Clackamas County Democrats' website discusses Hall's latest politically-driven folly. According to the blog, when same-sex marriage became legal in Oregon this May, Hall both stopped performing civil marriages [part of her duties] and refused to sign all marriage certificates -- instead stamping them 'CLACKAMAS COUNTY CLERK'.

This appears to violate Oregon legal procedure, calling into question the validity of all marriages in Clackamas County performed since May 19 of this year.

Marital status can have profound legal and financial impact on couples. It appears that Sherry Hall has prioritized her politics above the vital interests of the people she was elected to serve. While we all have the right to our own opinions, elected officials have a duty to act in the public interest according to established law and rule.

To act otherwise is dereliction of duty.

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