Rule change would allow vote efficiency
Onerous state regulations about how electronic voting machines are used could be softened under proposed new rules to be considered by the Secretary of State’s Office, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner said Thursday.
The rules, put in place in 2007 when now U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman was secretary of state, made things a bit harder on county clerks in what they were allowed to do with their electronic voting machines, Reiner said.
Under the proposed rules, which are being drafted, clerks would have much more flexibility in handling their own machines, she said.
“They’re actually making it better for us with this,” Reiner said. “The rules under Coffman following the decertification effort by his office were very, well, they just about tied your hands with trying to comply with them. They were so onerous, so voluminous, it was like a trap.”
Clerks around the state have been working with the rules during the past few months in an effort to find a better way to comply with them and still provide secure and accurate elections.
The Secretary of State’s Office scheduled an informal meeting in Denver next month with the clerks and other interested people to discuss the proposed new rules.
From that meeting will come a final draft that will go through the official rule-making process, said Richard Coolidge, spokesman for Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
“We learned from the rules over the past four years and heard there might be areas of improvement,” Coolidge said. “This initial public hearing will help guide those discussions and see how our office can clarify and improve these rules.” Reiner said the rules cover such things as security, software and who can access actual ballots.
Each county clerk, for example, is required to write his or her own security plans for how the machines will be programmed and results will be transported to the county’s central offices to tabulate results.
“Now with this rewritten, it’s just a little bit briefer and to the point,” Reiner said.