Election clerks run tight ship
BRECKENRIDGE – Elections clerks reported very few problems in the voting process this year, although Summit Cove resident Jeff Malooley jumped through some hoops for the chance to vote.The Summit Cove resident called the Summit County Courthouse Monday to determine where his precinct was. Officials there said he wasn’t registered to vote, and that, in fact, they had no records on him.”Three different people looked and they couldn’t find it,” he said. “They didn’t have a reason. I thought that was very odd.”He thought it was odd because in 2002, he registered to vote in Summit County at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). And unlike many, he saved his receipt from that day.County elections administrator Vicky Stecklein Price said Malooley most likely forgot to fill out the voter registration form. DMV officials print out forms for people to register to vote after they’ve completed their driver’s license paperwork. They then send the voter registration paperwork to the county to officially register the person. If someone accidentally fails to fill out their form or walks out with the blank form, DMV officials note that in daily reports to the clerk and recorder’s office.”The DMV in Summit County is extremely conscientious,” Stecklein Price said. “It truly is the person’s (voter’s) responsibility.”Malooley drove from Summit Cove to Breckenridge, filled out an emergency affidavit and re-registered to vote. But he wonders how many others might have found themselves in a similar predicament.”How many people would have said, ‘Ahh, the heck with it?'” Malooley said. “What about people who didn’t save their receipts? I can’t believe we can send a man to the moon but we can’t get the (registration) correct. It’s frustrating.”Fortunately – at least in Summit County – such incidents are extremely rare, said Stecklein Price. Summit County is home to 21,700 registered voters – twice as many as showed up to the polls Tuesday.But that number is deceptive, as many of those people no longer live in Summit County or they haven’t voted in years. Their names fall off the rolls after they miss three general elections.The first time they miss a general election, Stecklein Price said, the county sends them a postcard asking if they are still registered and want to remain an active voter. If they don’t return the card, a four-year process begins that notes if the voter casts ballots in the next two general elections. If they don’t, their name is removed from the polls.A computer was overwhelmed by the number of people registering to vote last week and was down for about 35 minutes. And some vote-watchers were curious as to why it took until 5:30 Wednesday morning to tally all the votes. That was due to the sheer volume of people who cast ballots and not any kind of vote-counting problem, Stecklein Price said.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at email@example.com.
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