Summit clerk takes voting edict in stride
SUMMIT COUNTY – While some county clerks were reportedly jarred by an edict that county clerks would have to issue provisional ballots Nov. 2 to people whose names are not on voting rolls, Summit County Clerk Cheri Brunvand took the news in stride. Brunvand traveled to Denver Monday to receive the news from Secretary of State Donetta Davidson. Some clerks were open-mouthed at the announcement, according to the Rocky Mountain News, and said Davidson was ignoring the Oct. 4 registration deadline.”Some people did seem to panic, but we didn’t,” Brunvand said. Under the rule, election judges must issue a provisional ballot Nov. 2 to people who show up at the polls and find their name is not on voter rolls. The judges will take their word for it that they registered. Once the voter’s registration is confirmed by the elections officials, provisional ballots will be counted. The office has 12 days after the elections to count them. Davidson said she issued the edict to prevent lawsuits claiming voters were disenfranchised. The many “get out the vote” campaigns are creating backlogs at county offices across the state and, according to the News, creating potential fraud. Summit elections official Vicky Stecklein said provisional ballots will not be a problem here.”We research and see if they’re registered in another county in the state,” she said. While it’s time consuming, there hasn’t been a problem in the past with verifying voter status, she added.Summit County handled about 12,000 ballots during the 2000 U.S. presidential election. More than 400 new voter registrations were received this year, but Brunvand said she expects a similar number of ballots this year.In the Aug. 10 primary election, the office received 23 provisional ballots. Twenty-one of those were counted and two were not because the person was not registered to vote in Colorado, Stecklein said.”We’re not at all upset about it,” Brunvand said of the edict. “We’ll deal with the provisional ballots on a one-by-one basis.”Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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