Ken Brenner: City drafts plans for future elections

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As everyone knows by now, on Nov. 7, many voters stood in line 1 1/2 to 2 hours, with some waiting nearly four hours for the privilege to vote. In all, 4000 dedicated voters persevered on Election Day. The Democratic Party congratulates and thanks them for their patience and their commitment to the democratic process.

We recognize that the combination of new voting machines, new and fewer vote centers, a long and complex ballot, and peaked interest in this year's election combined to present serious challenges to County Clerk Kay Weinland and her staff. She has already begun plans to counteract these problems for the next election, and we applaud these efforts. With the help of our poll watchers, who observed the Election Day proceedings at each of the eight vote centers, we also have compiled a list of suggestions for solving these difficulties. These relate not only to the number of machines and vote centers but to such issues as more support from Hart, which makes the machines and more hands-on training for judges and staff who must start up and close down the machines or change the paper in the machines.

Among other suggestions, we also recommend more time for early voting, including extended weekday hours and voting on Saturday. There are 18 suggestions in all. We believe that our most important recommendation is the necessity for a non-technical back-up plan: paper ballots. Paper ballots should have been available this year. They must be available in the future.

We have met with Weinland and found her to be receptive to our suggestions. We are convinced that Routt County offficials can work together to ensure that our next election runs as smoothly as all our past elections. To this end, we propose the formation of an advisory committee consisting of the County Clerk and her staff, other elected officials, members of the public and party officers. This advisory committee would examine the election process with the goal of protecting our voters, the very essence of our democracy. It would analyze projections of the number of voters in Routt County in 2007and - through extensive analysis of this year's data - determine the number of machines needed. The advisory committee would consider our recommendations, as well as suggestions of all others involved. The final report from this committee would be presented to the Routt County commissioners for their consideration and implementation.

By working together, we can ensure a positive voting experience for all our voters in the next election.

Ken Brenner, Chairman

Routt County Democratic Party

Comments

dave reynolds 8 years, 1 month ago

paaalse you control the house and senate..once again you had @ count them 2 weeks to vote early not to mention absentee ballots..hay ken lets have early voting for at least one year then everyone can can be sure to be prepared..like it or not the problem is the voters came UNPREPARED..YES ILL SAY IT AGAIN UNPREPARED..they tried to read the ballot in the booth..OPPS..its long and complcatied I should have listened to all the media that said come PREPARED...blame the voters not the system..took me 8 minutes to vote cause..OH MY GOD...i was prepared

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another_local 8 years, 1 month ago

Even at 8 minutes each there would have been a serious problem:

4000 voters voted X 8 minutes = 32,000 minutes

32,000 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 533 hours of voting

533 hours of voting / 35 machines = 15 hours per machine

Guess what.... the problem was not the voters.

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another_local 8 years ago

7 to 10 is 15 hours not 13.

Garret might have been sherriff? Wiggins got clobbered at the polls. Statisitics would tell you that the folks who walked away without voting because of delays would have voted in the same proportion as those that did not. His was not a close race.

But you are most likely correct that many folks tried to read the ballot and coming prepared is a good thing. I would be willing to bet that much time was also spent checking the paper printout before casting the vote.

If there is blame for the company that sold the machines, I think it has more to do with underselling how many are needed to service that many voters and less with tech support and breakdowns. The machines worked pretty well all in all and had a flawless record of accuracy according to the checking of the paper backup since the election.

We needed more machines.

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dave reynolds 8 years ago

it is my understanding that Mrs. Wienland purchased more machines than this county was allicated...you are right about sherrifs race probably would not have mattered..I still wonder even if 20 more people would have voted early each day if that would not have taken some hardship off the election day voters..thats 200 less voters and approx 26 hrs off machines..I really think we're on the same page..lets just work out the bugs..still beleive people need to be prepared..although I will admit with paper ballots I was done alot sooner

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dave reynolds 8 years, 1 month ago

every new system has glitches..even at 15 hrs per machine...Routt county didn't miss by much..weren't the polls open from 7 to 10 (i could be wrong) so thats 13 hrs nothings going to go smooth with the first run but I still stand by what I said the problem was voters not prepared I 'll bet most voters tried to read the ballot as they were voting ..if they say they didn't their being untruthful..reason I say this is I tried doing that a couple of times realized it was a futile effort so started coming prepared..the system needs to be tweaked but the blame does not fall on the clerk and recorders office or the system..heck who nows if every thing went smoothly Garret might be sheriff and Reps might still hold the senate..maybe the blame rests with the co. who we purchased the machines from for not enough tech support either way I am very confident that the problems will be resolved in 2 years ..do the math 100 voters X 90 min to read and evaluate and decide=9000 minutes=150 hrs..in the mean time I'll continue to vote early being prepared and excersize my right as a U.S. citizen..how do I base calculations took me and hr and a half to read and understand what I was voting on..and I'm definitely not he sharpest tool in the shed

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another_local 8 years ago

It is good to see early voting getting more popular and I think that as people get confidence in the machines they will not need to spend so much time reading the paper ballot back-up before hitting the button which will speed things up. I also think we will need a bunch more machines. The next election will have more voters since it is the presidential cycle plus growth in town...

Vote early and often as they say in Chicago!

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