Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clerks: Ritter Election Plan Will Cost Millions

The state's county clerks said Thursday that the cost of implementing Gov. Bill Ritter's plan to conduct 2008 elections by traditional paper ballots cast at polling places will cost at least $10 million.

A report published in the Rocky Mountain News says that counties have already spent almost $24 million to purchase the electronic voting machines and counting equipment needed to comply with a federal law enacted in 2002. About $9 million of that amount was paid for by the counties.

Only one county, Boulder County, uses the traditional polling place, paper ballot method of conducting elections. All other counties will face expenses either to acquire the necessary equipment, retrofit existing machines and/or rent polling places, pay election judges and print ballots.

Secretary of State Mike Coffman's Dec. 17 order decertifying electronic voting machines in counties across the state is being appealed by 50 counties and several equipment manufacturers.