Colorado did well on election report, 
but county clerks want to do better

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While our election officials are perhaps to be commended for Colorado’s ranking on Pew Charitable Trust’s “Election Performance Index”—and for their stated intent “do better” in future elections (“Colorado did well on election report, but county clerks want to do better”, February 17, 2013)—because acceptable performance standards remain far too low, the most fundamental questions regarding election integrity remain unanswered.

As explained by Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson and Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall, the index combined “basic measures such as number of ballots rejected, ease or difficulty of voter registration, and whether the public can readily access information”.  As noted by Secretary of State Scott Gessler during his visit to Grand Junction last month, the index merely reflected the absence of long lines and/or fraud.

Thus, skeptical readers should ask why Anderson, Hall, Gessler, and Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner took the legal position that Coloradans have “no fundamental constitutional right” to vote by secret ballot, and why Reiner touted that her locally discretionary “batching” procedures allowed the linkage of voted paper ballots with voters’ identities.

Citizens should also ask why—rather than simply modify local procedures to insure the absolute and permanent secrecy of voted ballots (as required by Article VII, Section 8, of Colorado’s Constitution ) – these four elected officials spent hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to deny public access to the very “information” needed to verify the integrity of elections.

Ask, also, why these same officials also support rules that would eviscerate public oversight of their activities by giving County Clerks control over County Canvass Boards and by requiring those Boards to certify all elections – regardless of any irregularities detected.

Finally, ask why Anderson, Hall, and Reiner—officers of the publicly-funded Colorado County Clerks Association (“CCCA”) – refuse to disclose the CCCA’s outside funding from electronic voting machine lobbyists.

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