Election hiccups cause delays
November 5, 2014
Pitkin County election officials were counting ballots into the early morning hours after voter turnout exceeded expectations Tuesday. The polling place at Snowmass Village Town Hall ran out of ballots in the late afternoon.
Specific ballots are printed for each county precinct that residents can use to vote in person on Election Day. The Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder's Office printed 100 in-person ballots for Snowmass Village's precinct, but more than 100 residents showed up to vote in person Tuesday.
The office printed 50 more precinct ballots, and County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill personally delivered them to Snowmass Village Town Hall around 6 p.m. She was seen leaving the Clerk and Recorder's office in Aspen hauling the ballots in a sealed box. She told reporters in passing that "Snowmass needs more ballots."
"Individuals in this community like to come to the poll and vote in person," Vos Caudill theorized as to the reason for the lack of ballots. "We're thrilled people are turning out to vote."
Some voters left Snowmass Town Hall when they were unable to vote, but many returned to cast a ballot.
As of 11 p.m., the scene at the Clerk's Office was harried. Election officials reported early Tuesday that preliminary results would be posted at 8 p.m., with a second and third wave of results at 9 p.m. and midnight, respectively. At 10 p.m., when election officials had not yet released the second wave of results, they estimated that the second wave would come shortly after 11 p.m.
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The second round of results were posted at 11:40 p.m..
An election judge said more than 500 people voted in person at the Pitkin County Courthouse today, far more than officials had anticipated.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler's office said a computer system used to verify voter eligibility was taken offline for just over five minutes because of computer problems.
Spokesman Andrew Cole said the impact had been minimal. He said any precincts that had computer problems earlier in the day allowed people to fill out provisional ballots that would be counted later. The number of those voters affected was not available.
Cole said the computer system was briefly out of service Tuesday morning, and a decision was made to take down the system at 2 p.m. to add more capacity. The system checks the registration of people requesting ballots in person and confirms they haven't already cast a ballot.
In Pitkin County, election officials reported the system was down for 8 minutes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.