News

An early morning voting glitch in Jeffco: minor issue or sign of problems to come?

An image from Heritage United Methodist Church's website.

Here's a voting update from my wife, Deb, who cast her ballot at the Heritage United Methodist Church on South Simms in Littleton. As the principal of a school, she gets to work early, so she always arrives at the polling station before it opens, and she's always aspired to be the first person in line. This year, she came damn close. When she drove into the parking lot, at around 6:35 a.m., one other person was there, and while she could have beaten her to the door, she decided to be magnanimous. The silver medal ain't bad.

Once inside, Deb says, the volunteers didn't seem to know precisely how to process the ten people waiting to vote -- and as such, things moved slowly. "That's what happens when you're the first ones in line," one woman announced. "It'll get faster as the day goes on." Shortly thereafter, Deb headed to her booth, and because she had taken a cheat sheet with her, she was the first to finish. (Gold at last!) But there was a problem with the ballot box. It was designed to electronically register when a ballot was placed inside, but it didn't. A volunteer wrestled with the box for a few minutes, during which time several other people lined up behind Deb, ready to store their ballots, too.

Finally, the woman used another slot to insert the ballots. When Deb asked if her vote was going to count, the volunteer assured her that it would -- but in almost the same breath, she added that she would have to call someone to get the box working properly.

An unsettling start. Then again, at least Deb was given an "I Voted" sticker -- a first at this particular polling place, she says. Wonder if the Secretary of State's office will except that as proof? -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts