Election 2004set some records | PostIndependent.com

Election 2004set some records

by donna gray

Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf officially wrapped up the 2004 election with some facts and figures she shared this week.Garfield County voters made history in the 2004 election. A total of 20,773 active voters cast their votes in November, the highest ever in Garfield County at 88 percent.By the Oct. 4 deadline to register as a new elector, and by the Nov. 2 election, the county tallied 29,462 eligible voters.Alsdorf’s office issued 368 provisional ballots, 364 of which were issued at the 27 polling places on Election Day. Of that total, 293 were counted.Provisional ballots are given to voters on Election Day for a variety of reasons. For example, if voters show up at the wrong polling place, their names were not listed in the poll books or they moved and did not update their voter registration information.The remaining 75 were rejected for a number of reasons, such as the person not being listed as a registered voter in any of the county’s four databases, Alsdorf said.With the unofficial count not coming in until almost 7 a.m. Nov. 3, Alsdorf said the provisional ballots were the holdup.Improperly or partially completed ballots were rejected by the scannerIn all, 442 provisional ballots were blank on one or both sides, and were rejected by the county’s new $50,000 optical scanner ballot counting machine. Those ballots had to go to a resolution board made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, who determined if they could be counted.”If the resolution board was unable to determine the intent of the elector’s vote for all candidates sections,” Alsdorf said, the ballot was marked “defective” and separated from the other ballots.”The point I’m making is that every time a blank ballot went through a machine, it kicked out the ballot creating a stop of the count,” she said.Also slowing the process were ballots with tears in them and folded absentee ballots that did not run through the machine as fast as flat ballots. Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com

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