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BARTELS: Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner raves about Dominion after Tuesday’s municipal elections

Author: Lynn Bartels - April 6, 2016 - Updated: April 6, 2016

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Lynn Bartels on SOS.state.co.us

(An earlier video from the Mesa County clerk’s office about Dominion.)

After tabulating the results of four municipal elections Tuesday night, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner has even more good things to say about Dominion Voting Systems.

“In 2012 and 2014 we tabulated and tested for the same four municipalities but didn’t pull out of the parking lot until nearly midnight,” she reported in an e-mail. “Last night we were skipping out of the door — OK, maybe not skipping but walking out with heads held high — at 9:15 p.m.!”

In a number of counties, the smaller municipalities conduct their own elections but utilize the county clerk’s election team for ballot programming, printing-and-tracking mail ballot packets and ballot tabulation.

Reiner said her staff conducted six accuracy tests and tabulated the municipal elections in just under an hour.

Palisade delivered its ballots for tabulation to the county clerk’s office at 7:55 p.m., followed by Fruita, DeBeque and then Collbran, which came in at 8:30 p.m.

Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner and Denver County Clerk Deb Johnson tested voting machines from Dominion.
Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner and Denver County Clerk Deb Johnson tested voting machines from Dominion during the 2015 election.

“The Dominion software was logical enough for us to work through without support after just one pilot election under our belt,” Reiner said.

Mesa County participated in a pilot election last November, where eight counties tested equipment from four different election vendors. A committee that had been studying voting systems then ranked Dominion the top choice and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams chose the company to supply future equipment.

Mesa is among the counties that was looking to upgrade. Thanks to the purchasing power of the state and going to a lone vendor, the bill is $100,000 less than Dominion originally quoted Reiner. In addition, Williams authorized the secretary of state’s office to help counties with the costs for training and installation.

In a video released by the Mesa County clerk’s office, elections director Amanda Polson touted the new voting system. She estimated that she could tabulate all county ballots in 5.5 manhours with the Dominion system, a task that took 44 hours on the county’s previous voting system.

After the Tuesday election, Reiner praised Polson and staffers Bobbie Gross, Sundae Montgomery, Patti Inscho, Tamela Spelts and Jesse Redmond.

“This team,” she said, “continues to impress with ingenuity, innovation and perseverance.”

To read more posts by Lynn Bartels, visit her official blog on the Colorado Secretary of State website.

Lynn Bartels

Lynn Bartels

Lynn Bartels worked as a journalist for 35 years, including 16 years at the Rocky Mountain News and six years at The Denver Post, before retiring in 2015 and going to work as the spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.