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Colorado: Gov. Ritter, Bi-Partisan Lawmakers Announce New Legislative Plan to Conduct 2008 Elections PDF  | Print |  Email
By Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Media Release   
January 23, 2008
Click here to view Gov. Ritter's letter to the county clerks.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (pictured at right) and a group of bipartisan lawmakers today announced new legislation for conducting the 2008 elections by using paper ballots at polling places while maintaining voter choice through options such as early or absentee mail voting.


"One of the most basic roles of government is to provide for elections that are fair, reliable, transparent and convenient for voters," Gov. Ritter said. "Our democracy depends not only on the people's ability to vote, but also on their confidence that every vote counts.


"This bi-partisan legislative proposal will fix the problems we face because of decertified electronic voting machines for the 2008 elections. Paper ballots are a tried-and-true election method that has worked for decades. They ensure a verifiable paper trail and minimize the possibility of technology failures that have caused Election Day problems in the past."


The legislation will be co-sponsored by Reps. Alice Madden, D-Boulder, and David Balmer, R-Centennial, and Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver.


"Given the constraints of the decertifications, this is the best solution we can craft," Rep. Balmer said. "We must preserve absentee voting and Election Day, precinct-based voting so that we avoid disenfranchising voters who only vote in presidential election years."


"The people of Colorado can be assured that the 2008 elections will be accessible, accurate, secure and transparent," Sen. Gordon said. "With paper ballots as the primary method of casting votes, people can feel secure knowing that there is a paper record of their vote."


"Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best way," Rep. Madden said. "And since my kids tell me that 'retro' style is in again, I think we're being very trendy. Let us not forget that our forefathers and foremothers fought for the right to vote. We should always be grateful for that right and exercise that right."


Previously introduced legislation should enable the Secretary of State to recertify optical scanning equipment to count ballots on election night as well as electronic voting machines for the limited purpose of providing polling-place access to voters with disabilities.


Gov. Ritter and legislators said they will continue working closely with the Secretary of State and county clerks to ensure successful election processes this year and in the years to come.


"Ensuring fair and accurate elections underpins our entire democracy," Gov. Ritter said. "Restoring the people's confidence in our voting system is vital. This plan will do that."

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