Printing error doesn’t affect voting, county clerk says | PostIndependent.com
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Printing error doesn’t affect voting, county clerk says

A literal case of a paper shortage resulted in some Garfield County residents being left off the list of eligible voters at polling places for Tuesday’s district attorney recall election.County clerk Mildred Alsdorf said Tuesday no one was prevented from casting their ballots despite the problem. It was caused when voter lists accidentally were printed out on 812-by-11-inch paper rather than 812-by-14, cutting some names off the bottom.But one Glenwood Springs voter, Rick Davis, was concerned Tuesday that the confusion might have discouraged some people from voting in what he said already was likely to be a low-turnout election.Davis said when he tried to vote at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, he was told his name wasn’t on the list and was offered the chance to vote provisionally. That meant his vote wouldn’t have been counted on election day, but later instead, after it could be determined whether he was an eligible voter.Davis didn’t like that option, pointing out that he was properly registered and the polling place had a signature card listing him as an eligible voter. Eventually, he was allowed to go ahead and cast a regular ballot. But he worries that others might have run into the same problem and decided not to vote at all.”I don’t know if the county got it squared away,” he said.Indeed it did, Alsdorf said. She said the signature cards serve as a backup to the voter lists, so she simply instructed precinct workers when voting began to let people vote if their cards were on file, and to write their names at the bottom of the list. “People are voting, so it’s no problem,” she said.She said she wouldn’t know how many people were affected until the election is over, but believed it was just a few.Davis worries that other polling places may have been in the same situation as his, where election workers didn’t seem to know what to do about the problem.”They had to hunt furiously for what was up,” he said.He also worries about continuing election irregularities by Alsdorf’s office. Coincidentally, those irregularities continue to affect him firsthand. In 2003, Alsdorf reported that Larry Beckwith had defeated Davis, an incumbent Glenwood City Council member, by three votes. While Davis conceded the election, a later, nonbinding count under the federal Help America Voting Act found the race was a tie.In the same election, Alsdorf found a mill levy override for Garfield School District 16 failed by six votes. The HAVA recount determined it had passed by 17 votes, and the Secretary of State’s Office ordered Alsdorf to change the election results accordingly.Then last year, Davis was among about 100 voters countywide who were given only one page of a two-page ballot. The county tried to contact affected residents to let them vote on the second page as well.”It just seems like every time I go in (to vote) there’s something going wrong,” Davis said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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