Aspen’s Marks asks judge to reconsider
ASPEN – Aspen resident Marilyn Marks filed a motion in court Wednesday asking a judge to reconsider his earlier ruling that dismisses her lawsuit against City Clerk Kathryn Koch in an attempt to force her to release ballot images from the May election.
The motion for amendment of judgment was filed in Pitkin County District Court, and asks Judge James Boyd to make certain that he has heard Marks’ objections to his ruling before it goes to the appellate court, Marks said.
Boyd dismissed the case March 11, citing the state constitution, which requires the city clerk to keep ballots secret.
Marks’ latest motion alleges that digital files of the ballots are copies and might not be the same as the original ballots.
She also argues that the ballots would not be disturbed by copying the files. The city would remain in compliance with the statute that protects the preservation of the ballots, the motion argues.
Also, Marks argues that the court has interpreted the constitution’s requirement for secrecy in voting inappropriately. The motion contends that the ballot itself is not secret, but rather, it is anonymous.
Marks’ motion attempts to have those issues, as well as others, addressed by the trial court before Boyd’s decision is appealed.
The city of Aspen has 15 days to respond to the motion.
Boyd has 60 days to rule on Marks’ motion. If he doesn’t, Marks said she’ll move onto the higher court.
Meanwhile, city attorney John Worcester said he plans to file a motion Thursday seeking to be reimbursed for attorneys fees in defending the case.
Shortly after the May 5 election, Marks filed a Colorado Open Records Act request for 2,544 digital ballot images cast by Aspen voters so the images can be checked against how the scanning machines interpreted them as part of an independent review to be conducted by an outside group.
That request was denied by the city, which prompted Marks to file the lawsuit.
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