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Make the ballots public

Dear Editor:

If I may quote the actor Slim Pickens from the Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles,” “What in the wide wide world of sports is going on around here?”

I read that Mayor Mick won’t release the ballot images from the May 5 election, because of privacy of voters and potential fraud by voters. Huh? So let me get this straight. The mayor wants to protect privacy of the voters, but at the same time he wants to protect voters who broke the law through voter fraud.

Excuse me for asking this question, but what is this guy on? Must be good stuff. Mick and City Attorney John Worcester must be drinking from the same Kool-Aid jug.

Worcester told Face the State on July 31, 2009, that potential voter fraud is enough to keep the images private. “Simply if people put a mark in the corner or something they would recognize their ballot. Later on you could identify whose ballot is whose.” So the city attorney thinks that people will run in and say, “That’s my ballot and I’m guilty of voter fraud, you weren’t supposed to show anybody.” Come on!!

So now these two knuckleheads are the great protectors of the elections. Where were they when 800-plus votes were cast at the early voting ballot box (precinct 5A) and the box was unlocked and unsealed the entire time that early voting ballots were being accepted? What about the fact that the early voting location had no polling privacy station and that on several occasions voters had to vote while candidates looked on? My wife was one of those voters.

And this is all because Harvie Branscomb wants to do an independent audit of the voting strings of the entire election, including ballot images. His proposal is supported by Marilyn Marks (boy, there’s an unlikely team – can I get a Kumbaya?).

Marks and Branscomb should be granted their request, knowing the facts stated above and that the city issued a press release on May 28 stating that there were errors in tabulations of the mayoral race exposed by TrueBallot (the company that ran the election). The press release claimed that they “manually verified that every ranking was tallied correctly for mayor and council.” That verification never happened. That “audit” was merely a test of a scanner. There was no math and no tabulation. Oh and by the way, the 5A precinct was not part of that so-called city audit.

Make the public records public, and allow any citizen to see for his or her self how the anonymous ballots were cast and counted. Our elections should be the MOST transparent of our government processes. No citizen should be required to prove that there was a potential problem before public records are open.

James H. Perry

Aspen