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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyFebruary 22, 20183min468

In the era of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, checks on the accuracy of election results are fundamental. Denver’s Elections Division recently took steps required by state law to ensure that its vote counts are indeed accurate, but it also wanted to double-check it was dotting its i’s and crossing its t’s. An audit has now concluded Denver is in compliance.

Denver election officials requested a review from Denver Auditor Timothy O’Brien’s office  to see if its procedures conformed to a 2009 state law that makes county elections officials use a risk-limiting auditing procedure. The procedure, first used in Colorado during the November 2017 election, provides checks on election results after the votes are tallied.

“The process is meant to help improve efficiency of election validation by allocating more resources to races with smaller margins of victory,”O’Brien’s office noted in a statement.

This is how it works: The Colorado Secretary of State chooses a statewide and countywide contest to audit, considering narrowness of victory and other factors when selecting a race. Election officials then manually compare selected batches of ballots from contests with recorded votes for the ballot scanning machine.

With Denver in compliance with the state risk-limiting procedure, O’Brien’s office pointed to some changes to improve efficiency.

First, the auditor’s office argues Denver’s division should stop using Excel spreadsheets in the process to track ballots, as there is room for human error in data entry. Instead, switching to an automated system would reduce the risk of typos or other errors.

The audit also found problems with the state’s ballot sampling method, considering Denver’s two-page ballots. When randomly pulling ballots, there is no way to ensure the one pulled would have the contest being audited on it.

O’Brien’s office also advised Denver create performance metrics for the auditing process to track the success of the project from year-to-year.

“Ensuring the integrity of our elections is integral to upholding the pillars of our democracy,” O’Brien said. “I’m proud to see Denver leading the way nationally to make sure every vote counts the way the voters intended.”


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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyJuly 13, 20173min656

The commotion surrounding a request for Colorado voter information from the Donald Trump administration’s election commission may have roused hundreds of Denver residents to take pre-emptive action through their county clerk’s office this month.

Andrew Kinney over at Denverite reported earlier this week that some 400 Denver voters withdrew their registration in a week — far above the typical traffic — in the days following the announcement of the White House’s Presidential Commission on Election Integrity:

There was a “2,150% increase” in the number of voters withdrawing their registrations in the week of July 3, according to the Denver Elections Division, compared to the week before.

Just a handful of people cancel their registrations on a typical day, but the numbers began spiking on July 5, nearing 100 people per day.

Kinney also notes that some voters requested so-called “confidential voter” status, in an attempt to seal their information.

President Donald Trump created the election commission in May, appointing Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to “review ways to strengthen the integrity of elections in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote because the integrity of the vote is the foundation of our democracy.” Meanwhile, critics have questioned the commission’s motives.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has said he will only provide the White House voter information that is already public, while withholding other details protected by state law like social security numbers. Unaware the information is widely available, many voters have contacted the Secretary of State’s office to lodge complaints and concerns.

On Tuesday, the election commission told Colorado officials to hold off on sending them voter information until a lawsuit challenging the White House’s request is resolved.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 26, 20174min969

Joining the ranks of Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright and Nelson Mandela, the Denver Elections Division has been honored by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies for developing an application that allows voters to register and on electronic tablets instead of paper. Denver’s award was for its eSign app and its Voter Registration Drive module and the category was Outstanding Achievement in International Institutional Engagement and Electoral Ergonomy.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinNovember 17, 20166min256

More women voted in the Nov. 8 general election in Colorado than men, and Republicans outnumbered Democrats and unaffiliated voters, according to the Colorado Secretary of State's office. In its last daily ballot return update until the results are finalized on Dec. 8, the office explained that although ballots were due to the clerks' offices by 7 p.m. Election Day, tallying has continued. Military and overseas voters had until eight days after the election to return their ballots. Likewise, voters who failed to sign their ballot or their signature didn't match those on record in county clerk and recorders offices also had eight days to rectify, or "cure," their ballot. Those deadlines ended at midnight, Wednesday, Nov. 16.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinNovember 10, 20163min300

It may be possible to consume marijuana in certain approved locations in Denver in the near future, after voters seem to have given Initiative 300 their approval in the least Nov. 8 general election results from the Denver Elections Division. The initiative would call for a cannabis consumption pilot project in Denver, where certain private establishments would allow adult marijuana consumption in designated areas, under city restrictions and guidelines. The city would only issue permits to establishments that have received formal support from their officially recognized neighborhood organization or business-improvement district.



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 7, 201623min967

DENVER — So here we go … Election Eve. A fat man wearing a cape and underwear outside his leather tights will soon slide down chimney's across the land to deliver poll results ... or so the legend goes ... er, something like that ... according to my nightmare. It's hard to believe that the 2016 election cycle has been dragging on for nearly 16 months. Or maybe it feels longer depending on where you sit. Yikes! (Insert shameless plug here) Make sure you catch the Wednesday’s edition of The Hot Sheet when we break down all the results, campaign reactions and any fisticuffs (kidding – no not really) that ensue.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 31, 201612min285

The integrity of the nation's voting system has been questioned like never before, led by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but the director of elections in the Denver Elections Division told reporters during a media tour Friday, Oct. 28, that the system can be trusted and is more secure than polling place election systems.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 19, 20164min355

The Denver Elections Division’s Text-to-Case system, which allows voters to text questions to elections division officials, is now operating through the Nov. 8 general election. Text questions will be answered during normal business hours, but the system includes a variety of automatic responses that can help voters with the most common questions 24 hours a day.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinOctober 5, 20167min254

Voter registration, boosted by online registration drives by Facebook and Google in recent weeks, have swelled Denver's numbers by 59 percent over the same period in the last general election. Denver Elections Director Amber McReynolds presented the figures and other information to the Denver City Council Finance and Governance committee on Tuesday, Oct. 4, a little more than a month before this year's general election.