It’s all about transparency | AspenTimes.com

It’s all about transparency

Dear Editor:

Come to Saturday Market to enjoy the local creations! And please stop by to sign two informal petitions to City Council.

Despite that on election night in May, each anonymous ballot was projected during scanning for the public to see, the city no longer considers these ballot images to be public information. The first petition is a request that the city release the scanned images for purposes of reviewing election procedures and maintaining confidence in the election, based on independent confirmation of ballot interpretations and tabulations.

The ballot images are required by a team of Colorado election quality experts undertaking an Independent Review of our May election.

There is no reason that I am aware of to question the results of the election. However, process improvement opportunities exist in all elections. Recommending improvement is the fundamental purpose of this review.

Council wisely chose new technology for transparency for May’s election. These tools should also be made available to the public. The ballots remain anonymous as the city maintains no records which connect a voter to his ballot. Whether or not you are a local voter, this is a transparency issue for voters everywhere to support with this petition.

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Additionally, there are concerns about continuing to use Instant Runoff Voting. Greatest among these is the absence of a focused issues-oriented race between the top candidates, after a large field of candidates is narrowed. IRV prevents that. But beyond that loss are the questionable legality of IRV, confounding tabulation methods, mathematical anomalies which can (and did) result, and the resulting erosion of voter confidence.

Voters request the opportunity to change the charter in November to again allow the traditional style of elections with subsequent run-offs. Council desires only an advisory vote this November, which gives inadequate time to make effective changes for the 2011 elections. The second petition requests that council construct a decisive ballot question on IRV.

Please stop by the Saturday Market table to make these requests of council. Otherwise, please use our online form on http://www.TheRedAnt.com.

Marilyn Marks

Aspen

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