by Lane Roberts
The new City of Castle Pines North (CPN) is scheduled to host an election on February 12 to elect six council members, a mayor, a clerk and a treasurer.
Secretary of State Mike Coffman has declared voting machines throughout Colorado unreliable. What does this mean for the upcoming election in CPN?
According to Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Jack Arrowsmith, the February 12 election for CPN will continue as planned. The county is looking at the possibility of hand counting the ballots and conducting an optical scan of ballots using the existing machines.
Arrowsmith has already met with Coffman and other state officials. “We wanted to ask what this means for those of us who are trying to conduct elections before November of 2008,” said Arrowsmith.
Of the 64 counties in Colorado, 47 currently use the voting machines in question. “We have been pleased with our optical scan units and we test and test this equipment for accuracy,” said Arrowsmith.
Arrowsmith indicated that a hand count might allow the county to test the voting machines for accuracy. “We may ask the Secretary of State to allow us to prove that this equipment works successfully,” he said. Hand counting the CPN ballots and then using the optical scan would allow the county to further test this equipment.
Hand counting more than 5,000 ballots from CPN will require the county to solicit volunteers.
“The bottom line is that Douglas County will conduct this election for CPN regardless of what is happening with the Secretary of State,” said Arrowsmith.
All ballots for the Feb. 12 election will be mailed to active registered voters. CPN currently has 6,327 registered voters; however, more than 1,400 are listed as “inactive voters.” To check voting status, go to www.douglasvotes.com. To change voting status, please call 303-660-7364.
Residents with questions about the election can e-mail contact by email. For more information about the voting machine problems, please contact the Douglas County Clerk and Recorder’s office at 303-660-7364.