Politics

Mar 28, 2011 10:11 PM by Jeannette Hynes

City Clerk's office tests new ballot-counting machine

The election is just one week away, and the Colorado Springs City Clerk's office has tested a new ballot-counting machine.  The DS850 Central Scan can process 300 ballots a minute, according to City Clerk Kathryn Young.

"It's top of the line," remarks Young.

The reason for the change is that the vendor the city used to use is no longer in business.   The Clerk's office says the test went well and the machine made no mistakes.

Also, surveillance cameras have been recording everything that has been going on inside the room where election judges process the ballots ever since the first ballot was received.

The Clerk's office sent out 151,000 ballots and voters have returned 24,000.

If people who are registered voters have not received ballots for the Colorado Springs city election, they can go to the City Clerk's office to reactivate their voter status and get a ballot, as long as their address or name hasn't changed.  If their address or name has changed, they need to go to the El Paso County election office first, then to the City Clerk's office to receive a ballot.

Mail-in ballots must be received by the Clerk's office by April 5, election day.  The Postal Service says it costs 44 cents to mail in the ballot, but the ballots must be received, not just postmarked, by 7 p.m. election day.

With nine names on the ballot for mayor, it is possible the mayoral election could turn into a run-off race.  The candidate who becomes mayor has to receive a majority of votes, not just a plurality.

If a run-off election were to happen in Colorado Springs, it would be a mail-in election with date set as May 17, according to a city ordinance set by city councilmembers.  Only the top two vote-getting candidates would be a part of that run-off election.  If two or more people have the second highest number of votes in the general election, the candidate will be chosen "by lot" (drawing names).

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