Election worker indicted in ballot-tampering case

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Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 1 at 8:04 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state officials say a grand jury has indicted a former Clackamas County election worker accused of tampering with ballots before the November election.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says 55-year-old Deanna Swenson of Oregon City has been charged with altering a cast ballot, unlawfully voting more than once and official misconduct.

A temporary employee who had worked for the county in prior elections, Swenson is accused of filling in ovals on ballots where preferences had been left empty by voters, thus casting additional votes for Republicans.

Speaking Thursday from her lawyer's office, Swenson apologized, saying a prescription drug she was taking at the time clouded her thinking.

Her lawyer, Jason Short, tells The Oregonian she will plead not guilty at her Dec. 4 arraignment. He says he is considering a defense that takes into account her mental state at the time of the Oct. 31 incident.

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