Friday, May 7, 2010

DA launches probe into Aspen Instant Runoff Voting Election

One year after Aspen Colorado's first and only instant runoff voting election, the complaints roll in. It turns out that IRV is not "as easy as 1-2-3." And it makes running fair, accurate and transparent elections so much harder to do. Officials end up outsourcing the administration of their elections to IRV vendors or groups and cutting corners as they go.

DA launches Aspen election probe
Aspen Times staff report Friday, May 7, 2010
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN — The district attorney's office has launched an investigation into alleged election law violations in Aspen, in response to an affidavit filed by Marilyn Marks, Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey confirmed Thursday.

Hershey, who has been assigned the case, works in the Glenwood Springs office of the 9th Judicial District. The affidavit, he said, will not be made public, as that could compromise the criminal investigation.

State law requires the DA's office to investigate, he said. Though Marks said Wednesday that she “does not want to see anyone fined, criminalized, etc.,” the law also mandates that the DA pursue prosecution if it finds grounds to do so, Hershey said.

He estimated the investigation will take six to eight weeks, but could take longer.

“We are going to conduct a thorough investigation,” said Hershey, a former Aspen city councilman.

Marks has declined to comment on the affidavit, but said it is a listing of “election irregularities, including many by TrueBallot Inc.”

TrueBallot Inc. is an election service that the city of Aspen hired to help conduct the May 2009 election, Aspen's first using instant runoff voting.

Marks said Thursday that she will also submit a list of complaints with the Aspen Election Commission by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline for filings related to last year's election.

That complaint is about 25 pages long, and includes 30-plus attachments, she said.

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