[S]ome counties are making it prohibitively expensive for at least one election watchdog to obtain the records he says are needed to independently audit the accuracy of voting systems.That made us wonder if there's a similar story in El Paso County. Clerk and Recorder spokesman Ryan Parsell says the office hasn't received such requests for many years, but as a general rule, the Clerk and Recorder's Office doesn't charge for CORA requests. He also says the county's system differs from others in that there's no need to remove anything from the ballot. That's because there are no markings that enable a ballot to be traced back to the individual who voted it.
Election integrity activist Harvie Branscomb made Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests of eight counties for ballot records from the Nov. 3 election. As indicated by email threads posted on his blog, Douglas County wanted an upfront deposit of $4,000 to examine about 88,000 ballot scans for marks that could identify individual voters and then redact any such marks from the copies.
Mesa County quoted Branscomb $1,500 to similarly process about 29,000 ballot scans before releasing them, and Garfield County wanted $990 for about 11,000 scans. Jefferson County asked for advance payment of $12,475 to review and redact about 185,000 ballot scans.
Clerk’s Office Releases Final Unofficial Count, Outlines Recount Procedures
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 3, 2015] The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has counted all ballots returned by 7:00 p.m. today. The results now posted to www.EPCVotes.com represent the final unofficial results. Those results will stand until any ballots from military and overseas voters or voters with signature or ID issues—who have an additional eight days to return or cure their ballot—and the official canvass is complete.
Due to the closeness of the race for Manitou Springs Mayor, the Clerk’s Office would like to explain the process for any potential automatic recount.
First, the official determination for a recount cannot be made until the deadline for military and overseas voters or ballot curing has passed and the Clerk’s Office completes the official canvass. Under Colorado law, the deadline for military and overseas ballots to be returned to the Clerk’s Office is November 12 (eight days plus one day for the observance of Veteran’s Day). The deadline for the Clerk’s Office to complete the official canvass is November 20.
Under Colorado law, an automatic recount is only triggered when “the difference between the highest number of votes cast in that election contest and the next highest number of votes cast in that election contest is less than or equal to one-half of one percent of the highest vote cast in that election contest.”(C.R.S 1-10.5-101) This is not the same as candidates or a question being separated by a 0.5% difference of the percentages reported. The Clerk’s Office is aware that there will be some confusion over this difference and will readily help any members of the media understand under what circumstances a race could go to an automatic recount.
The following example may help. If candidate 1 receives 500 votes for 50.20% and candidate 2 receives 496 votes for 49.79%, the casual observer would infer that an automatic recount is imminent. However, the 0.5% threshold is calculated off of the 500 votes earned by candidate 1. In this example, 0.5% of the votes earned by candidate 1 is three votes, so candidate 2 would need to have three votes separating the two, not 4. In this example, the results would not trigger an automatic recount.
If an automatic recount is triggered, the jurisdiction affected is responsible for paying for the recount. A candidate may request a recount, but a candidate may not request a non-automatic recount before the official canvass. Also, under that circumstance the person requesting the recount is responsible to pay for the recount.
Clerk Opens Three Additional Voter Service and Polling Centers
Colorado Springs, Colo. – November 2, 2015
Voters who need to get a replacement ballot, update their registration, register to vote, or vote in person will have three more locations from which to choose starting today, November 2. The three additional Voter Service and Polling Centers (VSPCs) open today in Monument, Manitou Springs, and Fountain, giving voters outside of Colorado Springs a more convenient option.
“We felt it was important to give voters throughout the county greater accessibility to the VSPCs,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “We also want to thank the people who offered these facilities for use in the election. They help us to ensure voters’ democratic right to vote is not encumbered.”
All VSPCs also have ballot drop-off boxes with 24/7 access. An interactive map where voters may search for the nearest VSPC or ballot drop-off location is available at www.EPCVotes.com under the tab Return My Ballot. The locations of drop boxes were strategically determined so they are located within a 15-minute drive time of 98% of all El Paso County voters.
The three additional VSPCs and operating hours are:
Monday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m
The Clerk’s Office strongly encourages voters to return their ballot early at any of the ballot drop-off boxes. Voters are urged NOT to return their ballot by the U.S. Postal Service due to delays in delivery. All ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, in order to be counted. Postmarked ballots received after the deadline cannot be counted.
Voters can check the status of their ballot to know when the Clerk’s Office has received it by signing up for BallotTrax. This is a free service offered by the Clerk’s Office to El Paso County voters this year. It also gives voters an option to receive notifications by email, text or phone call. Voters can enroll in BallotTrax by going to www.EPCVotes.com.
Voter Service and Polling Centers currently open:
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Monday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday November 3, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams recommends voters personally drop off their ballots
DENVER, Oct. 27, 2015 – Secretary of State Wayne Williams recommends voters who have not yet returned their ballots for the Nov. 3 election either drop off their ballots with their county clerks or use a designated county drop-off location.
Several county clerks have expressed concern that the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver their ballots in a timely manner. Those ballots that are filled out and mailed are, for the most part, sent to the USPS’s sorting center in Denver, and then returned to the county clerks. That’s why the secretary of state’s office is recommending ballots be hand-delivered rather than mailed to ensure they are received by Election Day. The Department of State wants to ensure that every voter’s voice heard in this election.
In 2014, a Colorado District Court judge ruled that county clerks may not count ballots that arrive after 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Information on locations for county clerks’ offices, voter service and polling centers and 24-hour drop-off locations can be found here.
Secretary Williams is committed to working with the postal service, Colorado county clerks and the members of the state legislature in order to improve future options for voting.
Marsha Brewer, Candidate
El Paso County Commissioner District 4
Exits the Race
Colorado Springs – Today Marsha Brewer, a Candidate for County Commissioner announced that she would not seek the Republican Party nomination for El Paso County Commissioner District 4.
“To be an effective Candidate requires a great deal of time and attention. Due to a change in my personal circumstances, I will not be able to devote the time and attention I believe is necessary to be an effective Candidate and Commissioner. I wish the other Candidates and the citizens of Commissioner District 4 the very best,” stated Brewer “there are some excellent Candidates in this race and I look forward to supporting the Party’s nominee in June.”
Manitou Springs voters, candidates invited to 2015 Election Forum
Pikes Peak Bulletin newspaper presents free Oct. 19 discussion
MANITOU SPRINGS, Colorado – Oct. 12, 2015 – The Pikes Peak Bulletin, Manitou Springs’ weekly newspaper, will host a candidates forum leading up to the city’s mayoral and City Council races.
All candidates will be present. They are: Nicole Nicoletta and Coreen Toll for mayor; Paotie Dawson, Becky Elder, Donna Ford, Randy Hodges, Daniel Prem, Jay Rohrer, Gary Smith and David Walker for City Council. Hodges is unopposed, running for the Ward 1 seat, and the remaining candidates are running for three at-large seats.
The free forum will be the evening of Monday, Oct. 19, at the Briarhurst Manor Estate, 404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. Social time, 6-6:30 p.m., includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The forum will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and end approximately 8:30 p.m. Candidates and voters may remain until 10 p.m. for informal discussions.
The League of Women Voters and Citizens Project will assist with gathering and compiling voter questions, which will then be read to the candidates by moderator Ralph Routon. A sign-language interpreter will be available 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Information sheets with each candidate’s responses to the Bulletin’s questionnaire will be available, as will candidates’ literature.
The 2015 Manitou Springs Election Forum is co-sponsored by the Briarhurst Manor Estate, the city of Manitou Springs, the League of Women Voters, Citizens Project, the Pikes Peak Library District, the Colorado Springs Independent and the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Issue 2C is a $250 MILLION tax hike. It is NOT for ROADS. It is for the DOWNTOWN ARENA, to be built WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL.The downtown stadium is a part of the City for Champions project. There is no evidence to support Collins' claims that 2C money would be diverted to the proposed stadium.
How do I know? I am Councilwoman Helen Collins. I cast the ONLY vote against issue 2C. Their bait-and-switch would wreck our economy and cripple family budgets. Vote NO on 2C.
They now admit it is for ANY capital improvements. And WHERE has that $680 million in road taxes GONE since 2005?
They tried to recall me. Now they waste over $50,000 for a phony “ethics” witch hunt. Anything to shut me up! Don't be fooled. If I don't trust City Hall, why should you? Visit RaiseTaxesAgain.com....RaiseTaxesAgain.com
I bought this ad personally—to SAVE our city. Tell your friends. Vote NO on 2C.
Paid by Helen Collins
Headquarters analyzed turnout in the May 19 Colorado Springs mayoral runoff. For most demographics, turnout mirrored the April 7 municipal election, but, if you read to the bottom of this email, you will find one noteworthy shift.
The short story is that the Republican Party again showed itself to be the party of civic engagement.
Overall turnout by party affiliation remained about the same as in the April 7 municipal election: the percentage of ballots cast by active Republicans decreased from 53% to 51.8% and by active Democrats from 23% to 22.5%, while the percentage cast by active Unaffiliateds and others increased from 24% to 25.7%.
As 39% of Colorado Springs voters are Republican and 23% Democrat, the average Republican was 36% more likely to vote in the mayoral runoff than the average Democrat.
The median age in the runoff, as in the April 7 election, was 60.
One demographic received a lot of media attention before the runoff: those roughly 30 - 44 years old, or born between 1971 and 1985 inclusive. The Colorado Springs Business Journal and the Colorado Springs Independent, lamenting that only 14.4% of active and inactive voters in that age range voted, challenged them to increase their turnout to 20%.
Their turnout did increase, but only to 17.3%. The good news is that Republican turnout is relatively high even among young voters: 18.6% of registered Democrats 30 - 44 years old voted, and 13.5% of Unaffiliateds and others, but 21.9% of Republicans.
If every young voter demonstrated the same civic engagement as young Republicans, the Colorado Springs Business Journal and the Colorado Springs Independent would have met their admirable goal.
El Paso County Republican Party
The Building Community with Bennett Campaign Committee Chaired by Jim Johnson of GE Johnson Construction, announced today that at Large Member and President Pro Tem of the Colorado Springs City Council, Merv Bennett turned in his petitions and announced he will seek another term representing all the citizens of Colorado Springs this coming April.Others running for three at-large seats who have filed campaign finance reports include Isaiah Hess, Tom Strand, Longinos Gonzalez and Vicki Tonkins. Incumbent Val Snider has decided not to run, and Jan Martin is barred from second a third term by term limits.
“In recognizing the challenges facing this community it is imperative that we keep Merv Bennett working for all of us noted Bennett supporter and community leader, Katherine Loo “our fragile economy and badly neglected infrastructure system are critical issues facing our city and Merv will continue to work hard finding the correct solutions.”
Merv Bennett who retired in 2011 after 40 years of service to the YMCA immediately began a second career giving back to the community he loves when he was elected to the Colorado Springs City Council in April, 2011 with the second highest vote count in that election.
One of the only Members of Council to receive a report card with an “A” from the Gazette and dubbed by colleagues and community as the “voice of reason”, Merv Bennett has represented the citizens of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region, on the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Board (PPRTA) recently elected as Chair of that Board, on the Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Board, the El Paso County Board of Health, and the Colorado Springs Downtown Development Agency Board.
A champion for business and economic development Bennett Chaired the Nominating Committee for the Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) Advisory Board for the City for Champions, he serves as the Council liaison to the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s Board of Directors, that organizations Economic Development Council, and as a member of the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Board of Directors.
The approval by the voters of the Memorial Hospital lease with the University of Colorado Hospital System (UCH) is only one of Councilman Bennett’s great achievements. His efforts were tireless in establishing the Colorado Springs first Health Foundation. A fiscal conservative, Bennett established the City Audit Committee as well as recommending and facilitating the creation of working committees for the governance of the City and Colorado Springs Utilities including Budget, Strategic Planning, Finance, and Personnel Committees.
“Collaborating with others to achieve the best on behalf of the Citizens of Colorado Springs and our neighbors in the surrounding communities is my first and last goal” Councilman Bennett said, “I have tried to put the interests of the community ahead of personal ambition and believe that this has been one of my accomplishments while maintaining my integrity and dignity in the process.”
(COLORADO SPRINGS) – El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn announced today his candidacy for the United States Senate in the [sic] 2016.
“I believe Colorado needs representation from a conservative who has worked his way through the types of obstacles with which nearly all middle-class and lower-income people struggle,” Glenn said. “If my entry into this race seems early, it's because I'm willing to invest the time and make the community connections necessary to build a comprehensive strategic plan that will help everyone pursue their American dream.”
Glenn, a husband, father, lawyer and retired Air Force officer, has been elected twice to the Colorado Springs City Council and twice to the El Paso Board of County Commissioners.
In addition to his elective public service, Glenn runs a small business, a private legal practice. As an Air Force Officer he was program manager in a $5 billion weapon system program office responsible for creating and implementing a base realignment and closure plan. He led the management of 35 combat communication programs valued at $1 billion and developed a support plan that saved $20 million while providing 40 percent more equipment for our troops.
“I worry about the polarizing national debate over the core principles that govern our country,” Glenn said. “Parents and grandparents are rightly concerned about mounting economic burdens facing their children and grandchildren. Hard-working individuals and families struggle with budgets that barely get them from one paycheck to the next. Many people are dismayed as they watch their hard-earned money get wasted on government excess.”
As a commissioner, Glenn works full time to serve a population of more than 655,000. His district consists of more than 130,000—more than any state Senate district and almost twice the population served by any member of the Colorado House of Representatives.
Glenn, a Republican since high school, is a member of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He calls himself a Christian constitutional conservative and will support policy that enables everyone to pursue their American dream by ensuring economic freedom, restoring the traditional balance of power among federal branches of government, mandating that government live within it’s means, strengthening our nation’s security and providing for international defense.
For more information, visit: ElectDarrylGlenn.com