Colorado election issues prompt worry as November nears
August 21, 2012
DENVER – An elections watchdog group contends there are signs Colorado is not prepared for November’s election, and that issues over traceable ballots that can invalidate results underscore the problem.
The non-profit Citizens Center, founded by Aspen resident Marilyn Marks, said in a federal court filing last that Boulder, Chaffee and Eagle Counties have marked ballots in a way that allows them to be traced to voters. Secretary of State Scott Gessler issued a rule late Monday telling those counties to stop the markings immediately.
Gessler spokesman Rich Coolidge told The Denver Post ( http://goo.gl/xXgpa ) that Colorado will be ready for the election.
“We’ll be ready for the election,” he said. “There are going to be hiccups, but that’s why we have preparations and contingency plans. We’re trying to minimize those (problems).”
He said officials have discovered many of the issues because Gessler has been proactive. He said county clerks are putting together “strong preparations.”
Another issue of concern to Citizens Center is a state investigation in Chaffee County of a large number of primary ballots that had two colors of ink – a potential sign that votes were added in races left blank by voters.
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Coolidge wouldn’t comment on the investigation because it could be turned over to authorities for prosecution.
In Teller County, Gessler had to send the former deputy director of elections for Arapahoe County to run the November election because Gessler’s staff found that Teller County’s clerk wasn’t prepared. Clerk Judith “J.J.” Jamison is under pressure from fellow Republicans to step down.
Gessler’s staff spent three weeks in Teller County to help Jamison’s office prepare for the June primary. In an eight-page report, Gessler’s staff documented several problems, including mail ballots that were missing the signature line and affidavit, poor security measures, voting equipment that didn’t work.