Election bill could be introduced this week
February 12, 2008
DENVER – A bill laying out exactly how this year’s elections will be conducted could be introduced this week, Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon said Tuesday.It has been three weeks since legislative leaders and Gov. Bill Ritter announced they wanted voters to be able to cast paper ballots in person as well as by mail since most of the state’s electronic voting machines have been decertified. Most of Colorado’s county clerks had pushed for an election conducted mostly by mail and have warned that the lawmakers’ plan could cause long lines and delayed election results.Gordon said the bill hasn’t been introduced yet partly because of discussions about how to work with a new voter database that hasn’t been tested in a large elections and about how much money counties need to change their election plans. Gordon has also been working on a way to check election results to make sure the count is accurate, something favored by citizens’ groups who don’t trust electronic voting machines.Even though most voters would cast paper ballots under the proposal, counties still need to make some electronic machines available to handicapped voters in the August primary and November’s general election under federal law. The clerks also need optical scanners to count the paper ballots and some of them were among those decertified by Secretary of State Mike Coffman. A new law will enable him to test possible fixes for those machines.