-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.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

More feedback on Aspen's decision to pursue hidden ballots

Email from one of Aspen's Election Commissioners to the City Council regarding process of decision-making for Aspen's Supreme Court Appeal of Marks v. Koch, the ballot transparency case: (Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 08:29:05)

I am requesting that the CC, at their next meeting, or a special meeting, schedule time to hear public input relative to the appeal of the Mark vrs Koch case.  After the public has had an opportunity to express their thoughts the CC should properly vote to enter into executive session to resolve the matter.  There are energies being spent to challenge the process the CC followed to enter into executive session and decide to appeal the case.  At question is the legality of entering into executive session from a work session as opposed to a special session or a normal meeting.  The outcome may be the same.  The process would not be in question.

Nobody I have communicated with question that executive session is a proper process.  At question are public notice and the manner in which executive session was evoked.  I know the arguments pro and con.  I have expressed my beliefs.  CC and CoA attorneys have every right to appeal and there are valid arguments to do so. 

I am appealing for a better political process and better public relations approach.  I am appealing to someone in CC to show leadership to request that the process be in the light of day without the feel of a dark smoke filled room.  I know that there is no longer smoke but you get the point.

With respect,
Ward Hauenstein
News Reports
Grand Junction Sentinel
Votes should be secret, Aspen says in appeal
The Aspen City Council voted Tuesday to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court a lower court’s ruling that election ballots are public records. Last week, a three-judge panel of the Colorado ...
Articles | Posted: 10/04/2011 | Author: Charles Ashby 
[site requires registration]

KMTS News, October 5th [a substantially false report of the facts]

AspenPublicRadio Morning Newscasts: October 4, 2011


“Aspen to appeal ruling over ballot images; Political activist Marilyn Marks: ‘Voters should be up in arms’”

The Aspen Times reports.

Letters to Editor:

No harm in viewing ballots

Letter to the Editor by Ward Hauenstein [Aspen Election Commissioner]


What is there to hide?

Letter to the Editor by James H. Perry

Secret ballot baloney

Letter to the Editor by Elizabeth Milias

Letter to the Editor by Glen Silva
Dear Editor: Election ballots and their facsimiles are public property. This is very obvious to any normal thinking person.

A couple of classics from the past on this issue:

Make ballots public - Letter to the Editor by James Perry 
[August 19, 2009]

Aspen Ballots: An issue for us all - a blog posting by Luther Weeks of CTVotersCount.org
[last update 10/25/2010]

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