It’s a secret locked away from lovers, parents, children and best friends. Now a voter-advocacy group is suing some Colorado election officials, including Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Scott Doyle, to assure that greater ballot security keeps voters’ preferences from prying eyes. Because of the way they are sorted, stored and preserved, each voted ballot in some counties — including Larimer — can be traced back to the individual who cast it, the Citizen Center claims in its federal lawsuit against six county clerks and Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Legal pleadings of the election officials and conversations with others leave little doubt that ballot data in some counties can be mined deep enough to reveal who cast each ballot and, consequently, how they voted. “We acknowledge that there are some traceable ballots,” said Andrew Cole, spokesman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
Ballots in Larimer County are among them, Doyle admitted in response to an inquiry by plaintiffs in the suit. He acknowledged in court records that his office possesses records that alone or in concert with other records “make it possible for some voted ballots cast in that (November 2010 general) election to be identifiable as the ballots cast by particular individual voters.”