Routt County removed from state’s Election Watch List | SteamboatToday.com
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Routt County removed from state’s Election Watch List

Secretary of State Mike Coffman said local voters should have confidence in ballot process

— Routt County is no longer on the state’s Election Watch List.

Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman announced today that the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has corrected voting problems highlighted in the 2006 general election, when problems with new electronic voting machines and crowded polling locations created delays of up to four hours for some voters.

Coffman said today that throughout 2007 and so far in 2008, Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland has “consistently provided (the Sec. of State’s) office with updates to changes to your election process.” Coffman said staff from his office visited Routt County in May and documented changes to the election process.

“Clerk Weinland has been tireless in her commitment to ensure that her voters won’t experience excessive wait times,” Coffman said. “The voters in Routt County should have the upmost respect for you and confidence in the elections held in your county.”

Coffman cited three documented improvements to Routt County’s ballot process for upcoming elections: ensuring acceptable wait times for voters by returning to precinct-based polling locations, adding two polling locations in Steamboat Springs and making paper ballots available at each location; on-site technical support, specific to Routt County, by Texas-based voting machine manufacturer Hart InterCivic, along with on-call county information system support on Election Day; and communication procedures to “ensure contact with county employees in the event of an emergency or technical issue.”

Coffman placed Routt County on the state’s Election Watch List in April 2007, in a decision Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush called “politically driven” to advance “his own political agenda.”

In a Thursday statement, Weinland thanked county commissioners for their support in purchasing additional voting machines, and praised the work of her staff and the Citizens Election Review Committee, which was formed after the disastrous 2006 election to review and improve the county’s voting procedure.

“As we move forward to Election Day in 2008, the Routt County Clerk’s office is committed to provide Routt County voters with elections that are efficient, transparent and credible,” Weinland said.

The primary election is Aug. 12.