-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.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thu 12/24/2009 11:45 AM
Thank you for your recent email and attached letter. As I stated in the paper, I am happy to discuss these matters and address all of the questions that have been raised by you and anyone else. However, it is not my intent to do so in the papers.
It is my understanding that the City will address election issues, either directly with Council or with the assistance of the new Election Commission.
James R. True
cc: John Worcester
[response from Harvie Branscomb to Aspen Special Counsel Jim True 12/27/09]
Thanks Jim True.
No doubt some other members of the public are as interested as I in the answers to these questions and in any substantive argumentation against any of my hypotheses or assumptions contained in these questions. Will you then be prepared to respond by email or by letter? Please let me know of any consideration you expect in handling answers to my questions and which medium you propose to use. I note that you waited until publication in the newspaper to answer my email and have not attempted to answer any of the questions yet to my knowledge. As time goes by I expect others will add to my original list of questions, at which time I will forward them on.
As you probably can guess we have recognized that the nature of the conversation has changed substantially since Marilyn Marks and I conversed with you and Mr. Worcester for a couple of hours in City Hall on the occasion when one of you told us that City Council had the right to decide to make the CD of ballot images available to the public. At that time we quite reasonably assumed that our goal was to convince the City Council of the value of full transparency. Much of what we are being told seems to have changed since then. I assure you that the source of any hostility being experienced is not resulting from my intention or that of Marilyn Marks, neither of which (intention) has really changed since mid May, 2009 before I first spoke to you. It is with regret that I have to mention that I have heard that the mayor expressed himself with an obscene gesture towards Ms. Milias this morning. I hope that isn’t a harbinger of more hostility to come.
Thanks very much and please enjoy your holiday.
[the following email was received from Mayor Mick Ireland, originally addressed to Colorado Voter Group, a listserv which delivers mail to Colorado based election reform advocates including Mick Ireland and Harvie Branscomb]
Thu 12/24/2009 9:25 AM
More propaganda from Ms. Marks special friend. In fact, the marketing funds were discussed by a group of citizens solicited by staff, none of whom was appointed by the council. The Election Commission is an official body spelled out by the Home Rule Charter, appointed by council.
The simple fact is that Ms. Marks directed the activities of the Election Commission including decisions by that body to ask for “special” counsel at taxpayer expense to push for her agenda of a ballot recount (aka “review”).
The constant repetition/invitation to have someone sue to overturn the election result is not lost on Aspen residents. O, sure you would never ask the results be overturned (or as Ms. Marks puts it in her e-mails to her campaign treasurer “voided”) but it is clear that you and your friends would do your best to raise money on a national scale to achieve that end.
515 Indepndence Place
Aspen CO 81611
[Harvie Branscomb's note: "Voiding" the election was mentioned once in a subject line of an email from Marilyn Marks that was never intended to be published. The inclusion of that phrase in no way logically demonstrates that Marilyn Marks, or for that matter any other election quality advocate such as myself, is interested in "voiding" or "overturning" the Aspen election. Unfortunately it seems impossible to disabuse Mr. Ireland of his extreme case of suspicion that we election quality advocates are engaged in such an attempt.]
[the following was contributed by Marilyn Marks as a comment]
Marilyn Marks said...
I am quite sure that Ireland understands that if someone wanted to overturn or void the election they would have started legal proceedings months ago. He knows that no one has even threatened such multi-year litigation, much less filed it. I'm not sure why he continues to make claims that voiding the election is our mission. If it were, surely we'd be well into the process by now.
I wish he would address the specific questions rather than make personal attacks.
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- ▼ Dec (10)