Pitkin County voting machines on track | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County voting machines on track

Charles AgarAspen, CO Colorado

PITKIN COUNTY Despite a statewide shakeup over faulty voting machines, local officials said Pitkin County equipment will pass muster.Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman announced Monday that voting machines from three manufacturers would be decertified in Colorado because of accuracy and security problems, according to Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill.And this week Vos Caudill joined representatives from each of the 64 Colorado counties to meet with legislators in Denver to address the problem.Were in good shape. We should be fine, Vos Caudill said.Replacing Pitkin County equipment would cost about $250,000, Vos Caudill said. But Pitkin Countys Premier brand (formerly Diebold) touchscreens and optical scanners will only require a few minor security upgrades to meet with conditions of use. And minor fixes, such as new backup batteries to protect from power loss, will cost somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000, Vos Caudill said.Not so for a number Colorado counties that face costly changes.The 46 counties with Hart brand voting machines will require a costly software upgrade to optical scanners the machines that read hand-written ballots. And counties with either of the two other brands Sequioa and ES&F will also need a major overhaul.Its more or less security measures, Vos Caudill said.Pitkin County, along with the 12 other counties with Premier equipment mostly larger jurisdictions near Denver wont have any major problems, Vos Caudill said.And we have plenty of time to work through the process, Vos Caudill said.While other counties have upcoming district elections, Pitkin County has until the presidential primaries in August to get voting machines certified and up to speed, Vos Caudill said.County representatives will meet with state officials and a joint budget committee in coming weeks to discuss possible state aid to counties in need of costly upgrades.We have excellent election staff and judges. And Pitkin County is fortunate to have the volunteers and the staff they do, Vos Caudill said. And it is that election staff as much as the machinery that makes for a fair and successful election, she said.cagar@aspentimes.com

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