Ritter signs bill allowing retesting of Colorado voting machines | AspenTimes.com

Ritter signs bill allowing retesting of Colorado voting machines

Steven K. Paulson
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Gov. Bill Ritter signed a measure Monday that allows Secretary of State Mike Coffman to recertify voting machines after Coffman decertified most of the electronic voting gear used in the state in December because of security and accuracy concerns.

Coffman said he will hold hearings over the next two weeks with demonstrations of the technology by county clerks, but he is still not sure whether he will have enough machines certified for each of the state’s 3,200 precincts as required by law.

Some large counties have raised the possibility of forming “super precincts” by consolidating precincts if a limited number of electronic voting machines are recertified for the August 12 primary. Under federal law, electronic machines for handicapped voters must be available at precincts.

Other clerks said because many counties have switched away from paper to electronic voting machines, counts on the limited number of scanners that are left could delay results.

County election officials asked the Legislature to quickly approve a stopgap measure that will let them conduct all mail-in elections this year after most of the state’s electronic voting equipment was barred. Ritter said they’re still discussing it.

“We’re still working with all the counties and all the clerks to have the conversation about how this election should go forward. With the legislation that’s coming their way, it’s still paper ballots. We really believe uniformity is important across county lines,” Ritter said after he signed the measure (House Bill 1155).

Some clerks warned just using a paper ballot could result in long lines, late election results and potentially require them to spend millions of dollars on new equipment.

The Colorado County Clerks Association issued a statement saying a mail-in election with paper ballots is the only “immediate and workable solution.”

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