Newly sworn Adams County Clerk Stan Martin is determined to avoid the problems and embarassment his office experienced in November, when the county was the last in the state to report its election results. The indecision about the victor in Adams County’s closely contested Senate District 24 race led to three tortured days of speculation over which party had secured control of the state Senate. “Any time you’re feeding ballots one at a time through a scanner and you’ve got 127,000 ballots to put through, you’re going to have problems,” Martin said of the voting machines the county uses.
The Republican clerk, who replaced Democrat Karen Long in January after an eight-year tenure, hopes Adams County becomes one of the first counties in Colorado to pilot Boston-based Clear Ballot’s vote tabulating and auditing system, perhaps as soon as this fall.
He witnessed a demonstration of the company’s equipment and software Thursday evening at the Adams County headquarters building in Brighton. “I’m trying to identify a system that will meet two of my objectives: transparency and efficiency,” Martin said.
He said one of the big time wasters last fall was the county’s ballot duplication process, in which ballots that didn’t clearly show how voters voted or that contained write-in candidates, had to be inspected manually. He said there were 5,500 such ballots.