Mock election finds problems with new Colorado voter database
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER ” No catastrophic problems in Colorado’s new voter database system were found during a two-week mock election last month, but the system did suffer greater connectivity and performance problems than expected, a report on the test said.
Trevor Timmons, the system’s project director, said Wednesday that the state is working on solving glitches before the system debuts for the August primaries.
El Paso County Clerk Bob Balink said he has confidence the system will be ready for an election in August. Some counties are using backup plans, though.
“Obviously, we are looking at plan B, C and D,” said Weld County Clerk Steve Moreno. “… We’re very nervous about the whole situation.”
In Pitkin County, Clerk Janice Vos Caudill said she is still testing the new system “parallel with our old system,” and “if the new system is adequate, there’s no need to hang on to our old system.”
Vos Caudill said the local testing should be finished in July.
The system, known as SCORE, is designed to connect Colorado’s 64 counties to one voter database as required under the 2002 Help America Vote Act. The database is used to maintain voter registrations and check in voters at the polls.
Moreno said that during the mock election, testers noticed the screen whiting out for 30 at a time while checking in voters. Adams County Clerk Karen Long said her elections workers had trouble logging onto the system, and the problem took about an hour to fix.
Counties also reported some problems with printing out reports or linking with their vote-counting systems.
Because of worries about the new system, Larimer and Mesa counties plan to check in voters at polling places using their own electronic poll books instead of relying solely on SCORE. Those counties would still have to download voter lists from SCORE into their own systems.
Denver plans to use poll books printed on paper as its primary check-in method. Most counties will have printed poll books as backups.
Timmons said the mock election was meant to stress the system and find things to improve. He said SCORE had no problem handling all counties logging into the system at once.
Many problems reported during the test could be addressed with training, he said. Meanwhile the secretary of state’s office has hired a tech company to look into connection problems.
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