Routt County caught up on ballot copying

Weinland: Judges have hand-copied all 1,775 mailed ballots

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Election 2010

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com/election20010 for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

Voting information

■ Friday is the last day to vote early at the Routt County Courthouse Annex on Sixth Street.

■ The last day to request a mail-in ballot in person is Friday, at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office in the Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.

■ All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Election Day, in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

Early voting hours

■ Today and Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Routt County Courthouse Annex on Sixth Street

Clerk and Recorder’s office hours

■ Today and Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

■ Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn more

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said voters with questions or concerns about their ballots can call her office at 970-870-5416 or visit www.co.routt.co.us.

— As of Wednesday evening, election judges had hand-copied all ballots mailed to Routt County that were unreadable after a coding error announced last week.

“I am extremely happy to report the replication teams have completed 1,775 ballots,” Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. “We are completely caught up with the ballots we have received thus far.”

The coding error was caused by a single inadvertent keystroke and rendered unreadable 5,773 ballots mailed to Routt County voters before Oct. 19.

The error could cost the county as much as $25,000 in labor and reprinting costs.

Bipartisan teams of election judges have worked a succession of four-hour shifts this week, hand-copying unreadable ballots onto new ballots in conference rooms on the third floor of the Routt County Courthouse.

Video cameras recorded the copying process, which entails one judge reading a vote off an unusable ballot, another judge checking that vote, a third judge copying it onto a new ballot and a fourth judge checking that copy.

The county’s computerized election system will be able to read, scan and tally newly copied ballots. Through Monday, Weinland said, audits of the copying process indicated 100 percent accuracy. No copying errors had been found. The process started a week ago.

Weinland could not be immediately reached today to comment on audits since Monday.

She said in the Wednesday e-mail, though, that voters had exchanged 410 unreadable ballots for new ballots and voters chose 775 times to surrender their ballot and vote electronically.

All ballots mailed since Oct. 19 are readable and won’t require replication.

Those who received a mailed ballot before Oct. 19 but haven’t returned it have several options:

■ They can fill out that ballot, return it and have it replicated by election judges.

■ Through 6 p.m. today, they can leave that ballot blank, return it and vote electronically at the Routt County Courthouse Annex, where early voting is under way, or vote with a replacement ballot.

■ On Monday and Tuesday, which is Election Day, they can return their original ballot and vote with a replacement ballot at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office in the Routt County Courthouse.

■ On Election Day, voters who received a mail-in ballot but did not return it can vote with a provisional ballot at their polling place.

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