From Grand Junction Sentinel
Gov. John Hickenlooper is facing a decision over House Bill 1036. His veto will protect your right as a citizen to verify results of upcoming elections.
However, because the hoped-for veto will disappoint as many as 64 county clerks, some municipal election officials and six or seven paid lobbyists, the governor needs readers’ encouragement to go against the wishes of these few people who control the system that elected him.
Elections in Colorado have become increasingly complex, mechanized and centralized as clerks and parties promote mail-in voting as well as early, overseas, military and provisional voting methods.
Formerly, you participated with well-founded confidence at your local precinct polling place. That’s history. Now you must trust a small number of hard-working county clerks and staff and a dwindling number of election judges, some of whom are awed by imperfect equipment outside of their pay grade.
Fortunately, newer, better technology can offer us a way to directly verify our elections.
Humboldt County, Calif., posts all its ballots online for public inspection. The ballots for the Minnesota Coleman-Franken Senate race that was recounted are still online.
Colorado could post all ballots, too, if all counted ballots were made untraceable. Sadly, our clerks instead have told their lobbyists to make a law to hide the traceability of ballots from us, and that’s what HB 1036 does.
Instead of improving their procedures and making the ballots safely anonymous and public, county clerks arranged to hobble the Colorado Open Records Act. HB 1036 obediently serves to do that.
Please ask Gov. Hickenlooper to veto a bill that passed without debate 45 minutes before the general assembly adjourned at midnight for the year.
We deserve full transparency about our elections — not midnight solutions designed by and for our election officials.