Weld County Clerk and Recorder conducts logic and accuracy test in preparation for Election Day | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County Clerk and Recorder conducts logic and accuracy test in preparation for Election Day

James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

Paper whirred through machines as the quiet handful of election judges kept count of test ballots running through their scanners Wednesday morning.

By noon, the group of judges, Weld County Elections Department staff and representatives from each of the major political parties had already worked for hours on the logic and accuracy testing.

Weld County's Clerk and Recorder, Carly Koppes, has to perform the test before each election, making sure all the equipment will work properly come Election Day. If any problems come up, they get logged in the official election record.

Problems do happen. Mostly the problems are one-time errors that don't occur again, Koppes said. Regardless, the logic and accuracy test lets the election staff catch the problems, fix them and make sure they won't happen again.

By midday Wednesday, one of those freak errors occurred. Two sets of election judges started running two batches of test ballots at the same time. The computer mistakenly assigned the same batch number to both batches. When the election judges tried to submit both batches, the computer recognized duplicate numbers, stopped them and invalidated the results.

Election manager Adam Gonzales gathered Koppes and the Republican and Democratic parties representatives, explained the problem and told them they were going to stop testing the provisional ballots and start over.

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"Wise move," said Democratic Party representative Ann la Plante. "Time-consuming though."

To prepare for Election Day, each style of ballot — different districts, towns and cities require different ballots for their voters — must be thoroughly tested. For the logic and accuracy test, that means they have to test each oval on each and every different ballot. This year, that meant 74 unique ballot styles and about 5,500 ballots to test.

The Republican and Democratic representatives also got a set of ballots — two of each style — to test. La Plante and her Republican counterpart, Dan Murphy, leaned over the test ballots, marking test votes and recorded their marks on a tally sheet. That afternoon their ballots went through the scanners and the digital results were compared against their tally sheets.

The two also picked a few of each different kind of machine the county will use during the election to test, too. It's a lot of work, and depending on how the test goes, can take up to two days to complete, Koppes said.

"It's good though. I'd rather do this heavy work now and make sure that the two major party representatives, and also our team here in elections, feel confident and comfortable with the work that we've done for when we move in and start actually counting and tabulating the ballots," she said. "So all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into marking these is totally worth it."

Nov. 8 General Election

All active registered voters will receive a mail ballot for the Nov. 8 General Election.

Colorado residents can check their voter registration online at: http://www.sos.state.co.us/voter-classic/pages/pub/home.xhtml.

Voters may also update their registration and cast a ballot through Election Day at any Voter Service and Polling Center in Weld County.

Important dates:

» Oct. 17 — First day ballots are mailed to active registered voters.

» Oct. 24 — Early Voting starts at certain voter service and polling centers.

» Oct. 31 — Deadline to register to vote by mail or online and receive a ballot by mail

» Nov. 8, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Election Day

To find our more go online to: http://www.weldvotes.com.

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