Oregon elections director resigns after two years on the job
Deborah Scroggin, Oregon Elections Division director for the past two years, will resign effective Jan. 20.
She will be succeeded temporarily by Molly Woon, strategic projects director and senior adviser to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. Fagan was elected in 2020 and took office in January 2021.
Fagan, who is Oregon's chief elections officer, said this in a release announcing Scroggin's resignation:
"Deborah has a lot to offer elections administration at a time when this work is so critical for our country. I thank Deborah for her service to Oregon and wish her the best of luck in the future."
Scroggin said this in her resignation letter dated Friday, Dec. 9:
"We are at an extraordinarily challenging time for elections officials. Mis- and disinformation have made the work of administering elections extremely challenging. Increasing complexity and funding uncertainty has stretched the state and counties thin. These challenges make the work we do all the more important.
"We have made progress by building strong systems at the state level that will protect democracy in Oregon, and I want to thank everyone on the team for their hard work these past two years."
It was Scroggin who signed the order calling for a supplemental audit of Clackamas County returns from the May 17 primary, in addition to the post-election audits required of all counties, after a printing error results in county workers having to duplicate thousands of ballots by hand for processing by machines. The subsequent audit turned up some minor discrepancies but no major errors in the count.
Woon has worked in government and politics for 15 years, including stints in the Oregon Legislature, city and county governments, and for Fagan and Jeanne Atkins, who was secretary of state between 2015 and 2017. Kate Brown named Atkins to succeed her after Brown became governor in February 2015 upon the resignation of John Kitzhaber. Atkins did not seek a full term in 2016.
Among Woon's duties were liaison between the secretary of state and officials in Oregon's 36 counties, which conduct the actual elections, and spending $2 million for election modernization projects throughout Oregon. She also was the liaison between the secretary of state's executive team and the Elections Division.
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