Craig briefs for Dec. 27

Coffman supports paper ballots in '08

— Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State, will make a recommendation to the state Legislature that a polling place election using paper ballots be utilized for the 2008 presidential election, he announced Wednesday.

"I have more confidence in having votes cast on paper ballots at the polls rather than relying exclusively on electronic voting machines or in voting by mail," Coffman said, in a press relase. "If Douglas County had paper ballots available for voters at their vote centers in the 2006 mid-term election they would not have the distinction of having the last vote cast in the country sometime after 1 a.m. on the following day."

Coffman recently decertified many electronic voting machines and optical scan devices used in Colorado. He questioned the security and accuracy of the voting equipment and wants the problems resolved in time for the 2008 election.

The Secretary of State does not support a majority of county clerks across the state who want the legislature to approve an all-mail ballot for next year's presidential election.

"Today, voters in general elections have the ability to either vote by absentee ballot or in person at a polling place," Coffman said in the release. "I think these choices ought to be preserved."

Though he disagrees with the growing sentiment among county clerks for an all-mail ballot, Coffman acknowledges the clerks are overwhelmed with managing an election process that is "continually changing and becoming more and more challenging."

"County clerks are the hardest working elected officials in Colorado, and I fully understand that switching to an all-mail ballot system will lighten their load considerably, and that's something for the Legislature to consider," he said. "Whichever way the Legislature chooses to go, I will work with them as well as the county clerks to make it the best election possible."

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