Should Coloradans be prevented from making the types of anonymous-ballot reviews that citizens of Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, Connecticut, South Carolina, and other states enjoy? As our law stands, parties, campaigns, academicians, and press may verify election results. In the next few days, however, Aspen officials intend to petition the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn case law reaffirming citizens’ and media’s rights to authenticate Colorado’s elections by reviewing anonymous ballots. If Aspen is successful, Colorado will be forced to accept whatever election results the clerks announce. So, in effect, Aspen plans to devote its considerable resources to fight election transparency across Colorado in the face of the 2012 presidential election.
As a purple state, Colorado will be a political battleground in 2012. One can imagine a scenario where the electoral college vote turns on Colorado. As Colorado law now stands, if Obama wins or loses by a small margin, the parties, campaigns, and press can test the count for themselves. We need to keep the option to check election results, not just in formal recounts, but whenever we want to assure ourselves that nothing is amiss in our elections.
The Colorado Constitution guarantees anonymous ballots. It is up to the clerks to implement processes that back up this guarantee. Even the clerks themselves should not know how a person voted.
Anonymous voted ballots should remain basking in the Sunshine of the Colorado Open Records Act. The Daily Camera published an effective lead editorial that helped defeat a 2007 effort by county clerks to impose a similar blackout. As a member of Coloradans for Voting Integrity, I call on the Daily Camera and its readers to implore Aspen officials to halt their attack on election transparency. Please email email@example.com today and ask Aspen’s leaders not to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.
Mary C. Eberle