Colo. Hopes to Avoid Fla.-Style Ballot Recount 'Fiasco'

Thursday, 15 Mar 2012 09:10 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The Colorado Senate is considering an elections-recount bill that lawmakers say could help the state avoid “a Florida-style fiasco” by providing a strict set of guidelines for the inspection of questionable ballots.
 
The bill, The Denver Post reported Thursday, has cleared a key committee and is designed to ensure voter confidentiality in the event that a recount becomes necessary.

In addition, it sets limits on when ballots would be made available for review under the state’s open-record laws. For example, the Post noted, anyone filing a request to inspect ballots “would not be able to do so 45 days prior to an election or 17 days after so that clerks can concentrate on their election duties.”

Supporters of the bill said it would help the state avoid the kind of confusion and legal challenges that plagued Florida during its recount of ballots in the 2000 presidential election.

“It is not a stretch to imagine that Colorado could find itself with a very close result in the upcoming [2012 presidential] election,” said Donetta Davidson, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association.

“Should that happen, this bill will give Coloradans a road map to inspect the election results without compromising voter privacy,” she said. “And it is our hope this bill will make us much less likely to see legal battles and inconsistent court rulings.”

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