Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall agreed Monday to allow observers more access to the ballot counting process during the 2012 general election. Boulder County Libertarian Party chairman Ralph Shnelvar had filed a lawsuit alleging that Hall violated state law earlier this month by denying authorized election watchers’ ability “to meaningfully observe the handling” of mail-in absentee ballots and the ballots that active-duty members of the military and citizens living overseas have been sending back. The case was scheduled for a hearing Monday morning before Judge Maria Berkenkotter, but attorneys for both sides were able to reach an agreement without the hearing.
Under the agreement, vote watchers will be able to stand 4 feet from the computer screens used for signature verification. Previously, the watchers could stand 4 feet from the person sitting in front of the computer screens.
Hall also agreed to provide daily logs and screenshots of mail-in ballots and ballots returned by voters under procedures set forth in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
There will now also be two bipartisan judges when possible in the signature verification process, as opposed to one judge submitting an escalation form when a dispute arises.
Hall said she was happy the two sides were able to reach an agreement.