So many questions, so few answers | AspenTimes.com
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So many questions, so few answers

Dear Editor:

Why are we still talking about the May 2009 election a year later? If you are one of the many citizens wondering, it will be clear after you attend the public meeting of the Election Commission at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. City Hall will publish the location.

Millard Zimet filed a complaint with the former Election Commission and city officials in August, which will be heard on Wednesday. He has cleverly summarized it as, “Big Brother Knows How You Voted.” In his long-standing unresolved complaint, Zimet explains how election officials and election processors (TrueBallot Inc.) improperly collected voter data as they failed to shuffle the ballots, resulting in an ability to determine the contents of some voters’ ballots.

The city attorney’s office acknowledged that ballot data file sequence and poll book sequence possibly could be matched in an analysis that would determine some voters’ votes. They argued that such information should remain only in the hands of the government. However, the information that should never have existed was already public.

Obviously, despite official city position, no government or officials can legitimately collect such data on how individuals vote! The opportunities abound for serious abuse of such information by employers, landlords, family members and city officials. Voter anonymity is an issue rarely discussed because Americans take it for granted, given strict laws which guarantee our constitutional rights to an anonymous ballot; rights that appear to have been violated in Aspen. Wednesday’s discussion portends to be quite interesting. There are lots of questions without good answers.

Now that “Big Brother,” as well as your boss, may know how you voted, what is to be done? The spilled milk can’t go back into the bottle, nor can it be ignored on the floor. That is the first of some of the confounding issues to be considered by the Election Commission in the coming months. Attend Wednesday and you will see why the election irregularities cannot be just forgotten in hopes of better compliance in 2011.

Citizens often find Zimet’s claim and my transparency litigation confusing and inconsistent. They are not at all. Zimet’s concern is about private information that was illegitimately collected. My complaint is about public information (copies of ballot images) which has illegitimately been kept from the public and made private.

Read the Zimet complaint at http://www.glassballotbox.org/journal/2010/3/23/election-commission-to-hear-zimet-complaint.html.

Marilyn Marks

Aspen


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