Jean-Ann Cooper: Helping with ballot troubles
October 31, 2010
After reading Thursday's article ("Ballot problem arises," Oct. 21 Steamboat Today) about the technical problems with the mail-in ballots for the upcoming election, I called Kay Weinland, Routt County clerk and recorder, and offered to help out. Kay said that because I'm a part-time resident and not registered to vote in Routt County, I wasn't qualified to help with the replication process. Instead, she asked me if I could come in that afternoon and start calling registered voters to ask if they would make themselves available for one or more four-hour shifts to assist in the ballot replication process.
I spent the better part of Thursday afternoon calling people to solicit their help and was completely amazed at the response I got. I talked with at least 35 or 40 people, and every single one of them was sincerely honored to get a call for help. Only three said they weren't available and several offered to work multiple four-hour shifts. In addition to those I phoned, there were many people stopping by the courthouse to pick up new ballots and offer to help. Needless to say, when I left the courthouse Thursday afternoon, I was bursting with pride for my summer hometown. The replication process is labor intensive, requiring a team of four people to replicate and validate each ballot. We were able to recruit enough people to fill up several teams, but many more are needed to complete the process.
If you are available, I would encourage you to call or stop by the Clerk and Recorder's Office to see if there is an open slot you can fill. I truly believe the experience will give you a whole new respect for the voting process and all the faithful, civic-minded people living in Routt County.