Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aspen's Instant Runoff Voting election to be audited by citizens group

Aspen's instant runoff voting election to be audited by independent group after several things went wrong in the town's first IRV election. Harvie Brancomb, a Colorado Verified Voting Activist and Computer Expert is leading the effort to conduct an independent audit of Aspen's recent instant runoff voting election. To conduct the audit, Branscomb's team will need to inspect the actual ballots. The audit is not intended as a tool to overturn the election results, but to see if the election process worked as it was supposed to. Ballots so private you can't audit them: The town's attorney has denied a public info request to obtain the 2,600 ballots, citing that the ballots are "private". It is ironic that ballots have to be stored for 22 months after federal elections or 6 months otherwise, but then destroyed and never available as public records for the public to review.

Aspen's May election under review
Independent group conducting audit of Instant Runoff Voting results
Carolyn Sackariason The Aspen Times Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN — A small group of Instant Runoff Voting junkies plan to do an independent review of Aspen's May election, and the two people leading the effort couldn't be more politically opposite.

City Hall critic and former mayoral candidate Marilyn Marks has joined forces with Harvie Branscomb, co-chair of the Eagle County Democratic Party, to launch the review.

“He called me out of the blue,” Marks said of Branscomb, who contacted her two weeks after the May 5 election. “While we are politically opposite, we have a shared passion to ensure the election's integrity and transparency.”

They both presented individual and lengthy presentations to the Aspen City Council on Tuesday, providing their analyses of what worked and what didn't with the first-ever IRV system tried in Aspen.

...Branscomb told the council he is raising private funds to pay for the review, which will include himself, an election lawyer and an election activist from the Front Range. The team will be designed to be a bipartisan effort.

“I have no agenda with respect to the election other than its unique benefits,” he said. “I want to document the process on setting up this particular election and its side effects.”

Marks said she plans to help raise money and support the effort with whatever election information and analysis she has done, but she is not officially part of Brancomb's team....