A statewide grand jury cleared Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Melinda Myers of any criminal wrongdoing in the November election, according to a report released through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Tuesday.
“The results of the 2010 general election were a product of the votes of the citizens of Saguache County and were not affected by individual violations of the procedural rules by the clerk and others,” the report concluded.
Myers said in a written statement she hoped the findings would put the election controversy to rest and provide citizens with confidence that the will of the voters was reflected in the election.
“Elections are complicated, difficult undertakings as this report shows and public awareness of this reality can only help make elections better in the future,” she said.
Controversy flared over the election after personnel in Myers office conducted a second count of the ballots because of an operating error with the county’s vote scanning software. An election worker, who is not identified in the report, loaded polling place results from one precinct twice, excluding that precinct’s mail-in ballots.
The corrected results, issued two days after election day, put Myers and Commissioner Linda Joseph, both Democrats, ahead of Republican challengers Carla Gomez and Steven Carlson.
“The overwhelming evidence indicated that the change in results was directly connected to the vote tabulation software provided by (Election Systems & Software) and human error connected thereto,” the report stated.
Carlson issued a statement stating that the grand jury put too much emphasis on the problems with the voting machine and likened its findings to letting off a driver who went through a red light without causing a wreck.