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Chat with Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland

November 3, 2006

Kay Weinland is the Routt County Clerk and Recorder. She will be available at 2 p.m. Friday to discuss the upcoming election and the county's new voting system.

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Moderator

Welcome Kay. Thanks for taking time to visit with us.

Kay Weinland

I appreciate the opportunity--thanks for inviting me!

techdubb12

This is a two-part question:

1) Is there a backup plan prepared in the case that the electronic voting machines do not function properly?

2) How much testing have these machines undergone? Did the manufacturing company or an independent software testing firm do the testing?

Kay Weinland

The answer to the first part is yes, the equipment has battery back-up and triple redunancy. If there is a major equipment failure voters will be sent to other vote centers. We also have back up plans for the poll book connection.
This question actually has a 2 part answer. The equipment has undergone both Federal and State of Colorado Certificaiton testing. For the current election, we have a county test that was done internally. We also have a public testing process that is accomplished by voluteers from both major political parties. We underwent about 12 hours of testing--every feature tested perfectly! We also will have a post election audit that will be done in the same fashion--a voluteer from each of the major political parties will complete the testing. The post election audit is a hand count of the votes cast on 2 peices of equipment from the paper print out. The equipment is randomly selected by the Secretary of State with in 24 hours of the close of the polls.

Moderator

The Denver Post had a front-page story this week warning people to be patient on election night, because results could be slow coming in. There seems to be some uneasiness about the new machines and how they will work. What's your expectation for Routt County?

Kay Weinland

I have encouraged voters to go to vote prepared--this is important due to both the new equipment and the length of the ballot. Sample ballots are avialable and we will have sample ballots available on Election Day, There may be a wait on Election Day, but if voters are courteous to fellow voters and go to vote prepared the flow should be good. There always has been a 10 minute limit in the voting booth, so we will remind voters of this prior to their voting. I think the good turnout for Early and Absentee Voting will make Tuesday's turnout lighter.

I anticipate we will be able to report Early and Absentee results shortly after 7 pm and if things go as expected at the Vote Centers we look forward to having the unofficial results by 9:30-10 p.m.

Moderator

Early voting ends today. Based on the turnout you have seen for early voting, what kind of overall turnout can we expect on Tuesday? Give us your best guess on the percentage of registered voters in the county who will vote?

Kay Weinland

We have had a great turnout so far for Early and Absentee Voting--it is comperable to the 04 Presidential Electionl Based on Early voting I optimistically hope for a 75-80% turnout. This is higher than the estimated turnout that the Secretary of State predicts for the state-wide turnout, but Routt County typically beats the rest of the state in voter turnout!

Moderator


This year, we are going to a new system with eight voting centers in the county. People can vote at any of the voting centers. But will votes still be broken out by voting precinct so that we can see which geographic areas supported which candidates and which issues?

Kay Weinland

Yes, each of the vote centers will be able to report votes for all 18 precincts in the county. The electronic equipment will allow us to also report Early Voting by precinct. In the past it was reported as one large precinct.

Moderator


What do voters need to have with them on election day?

Kay Weinland

Voters will need to provide an accepted form of ID when voting. A Colorado Driver's license or Colorado ID or any of a number of other ID's are accepted. The list of acceptible ID's is available in the Voting Guide/Sample Ballot insert. If a voter does not have ID with them, they will not be turned away--they will be required to vote a Provisional Ballot.

Moderator

Let's say I recently moved back to Colorado from another state and registered to vote in time for the election. But I have not changed my driver's license yet. Will I be allowed to vote and what will I need to bring with me in order to vote?

Kay Weinland

Yes, you can bring a passport, current utility bill in your name, bank statement in your name, pilot's licensed, Colorado government ID. Student ID's are NOT accepted.

Moderator

Much has been written about the increase in illegal immigration in this area. What steps are in place to keep illegal immigrants from voting?

Kay Weinland

When a citizen registers to vote they sign a sworn statement that they are citizens of the US. Beyond this we are not allowed to require proof of citizenship.

Moderator

For those who haven't tested the new machines yet, what would you tell them to be prepared for on election day?

Kay Weinland

The machines are really very straight forward and intuitive. We have written instructions in the Voter Guide/Sample Ballot insert. Also, there is an instructiional video playing on the local channel 6 intermitently, in addition there is an interactive demo on our web site at www.co.routt.co.us. At the vote centers we have instruction handouts and also judges to assist. I want to assure voters that the equipment is easy to use and my hope is no one will be intimitated by the new process.

Moderator

Who is your choice for secretary of state, Mike Coffman or Ken Gordon?

Kay Weinland

I can not publically endorce any candidates!

Moderator

That concludes today's chat. Thanks for taking the time to be with us, Kay.

Kay Weinland

Thanks I enjoyed the chat! Don't forget to vote!

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