Absentee Voting Issues in Colorado

Katy Human has a very nice article on glitches that arose in absentee voting in Colorado in today’s Denver Post.

Workers slid absentee ballots into two counting machines at the Denver Election Commission headquarters Monday morning, overseen by stuffed versions of the troublemaking Dr. Seuss characters Thing One and Thing Two. Thing One sat on a machine counting ballots that had “no” printed where “yes” should have been on Referendum F, which has to do with recall election rules. Thing Two sat on the other optical scanner, counting the correctly printed ballots.

In several of Colorado’s counties Monday, elections officials and voters reported small glitches, but nothing unusual for the day before Election Day, they said.

In Pueblo County, officials responded to allegations that thousands of absentee ballots hadn’t been sent to voters who requested them. In Jefferson County, officials were copying about 2,000 absentee ballots because of mistakes voters made marking them. In Arapahoe, Denver and Pueblo counties, trainers reminded election judges about preventing fraud on computerized voting machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems.

Jefferson County election director Susan Miller said that people made a lot of mistakes marking absentee ballots, probably because the ballot is so long this year. “People are resting their pens on the paper, and it’s bleeding through and counts as a vote,” Miller said. “Our equipment is very sensitive – it kicks those out and makes a human look at it.” Other voters have written notes on their ballots, she said, indicating who they intended to vote for after multiple cross-outs. Those ballots must also be copied and fed through scanners, Miller said. Such “duplication” of ballots is done in front of witnesses, she said.