-Aspen's historic May 5, 2009 IRV election audited as single ballots- 5/5/09 Aspen CO held an instant runoff election (IRV) for mayor and 2 council members. Interpreted contents of each ballot, scanned by True Ballot, were publicly released. Open records requests for a CD of image scans were denied. Aspen has been sued to protect records from destruction and to allow inspection of the scanned ballot files. A Court of Appeals ruling holds that unidentifiable ballots are public records.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1. Comment by Marilyn Marks November 23rd, 2009 at 7:56 pm
Thanks, Michael, for posting these excerpts. It's about time some of this starts coming to light so reader can see for themselves, rather than listening to twisted logic. I've added a few comments to some of the excerpts. Sorry to use caps---didn't know how else to distinguish your posting from my comment.
Aspen Election Commission Emails: Key Excerpts
Marilyn Marks Press Release, 5/6/09: “Marilyn Marks has announced that she will not contest the Aspen Mayor’s race election results based on procedural election questions raised by Jim Perry and others. Marks said, ‘I certainly honor the voice of the people in this election. While the variety of challenges which might be successfully asserted could possibly change the outcome of the election, given the small 133 vote margin, I believe that our community’s time and energy would be better spent by uniting to address our near-term economic challenges and positive programs. Election challenges are expensive and divisive, and delay the important work at hand.”
“I have complete confidence in the Election Commission to resolve any remaining questions regarding the election procedures or ballots. Their work will only add to ensuring the integrity of the election process in future elections.
”I FEEL THIS WAY MORE STRONGLY THAN EVER. I HAD NO IDEA HOW DIFFICULT THE TASK OF ADVOCATING FOR FUTURE REFORMS WOULD BE. THERE'S A LONG ROAD YET AHEAD.
Marks to Election Commissioner Chris Bryan, 5/9/09: “I feel that I have numerous sound grounds on which to challenge, but politically, I don’t want to do that. But the point is to make sure that the Election Commission is at least aware of these issues—for future elections, and to answer any other candidate’s questions which might arise.”
“Hopefully you and Ryan [her attorney] can speak on Monday.
”YES. AFTER I CONCLUDED ON MAY 6 THAT I DON’T WANT TO CONTEST THE ELECTION, I SPENT CAMPAIGN FUNDS TO HAVE MY ATTORNEY WORK WITH CHRIS TO REGISTER ISSUES WITH THE COMMISSION FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS AND ANY CANDIDATES WHO DID STILL HAVE QUESTIONS. [SOME ARE PRETTY LEGALLY COMPLEX, OR SEEMED SO AT THE TIME. SO I NEEDED MY LAWYER’S HELP.]
1) Don't ask to see any copies of your anonymous ballots- something about them is too dangerous to be released- we will keep them briefly & destroy them for you.
2) Don't even think about questioning the City Council concerning elections. We will find a way to demonize you or disappear your citizen role on a technicality, without warning, and without discussion. We have two attorneys who advise us secretly. We can & will take you down if we so choose. We can & will meet in secret to discuss these matters.
3) You on citizen boards who are naive enough to communicate by email instead of phone, someone will get your emails and embarrass you and we might even help someone to do so. Please be kind to us elected officials about CORA infractions, but don't expect the same treatment.
4) Trust us (we who are elected) to be sure your election is just fine. We set the rules.
(We, the City Council, appoint the citizen's board. The city's chief election official, our employee, is the Chair. Independent citizen oversight is tiring now & a waste of time & something which might have been a good idea once or twice in the bad old days when people used guns to get elected.)
(posted as a comment on the following two articles:)
Aspen Daily News: 11/24/09: Council moves to appoint new election commission
Aspen Times: 11/24/09: Aspen seeks new members for election commission
Controversial citizen board out of compliance with city charter