Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Clerk acknowledges voter file problems

-----Original Message-----
From: Hall, Hillary [Boulder County Clerk & Recorder]
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 3:54 PM
To: Al Kolwicz [Colorado Voter Group]
Cc: Thomas, Scott [Chief Deputy Clerk]
Subject: Voter file


The export provided to the parties is more complete and gives the most comprehensive look at our voter registration database ever available in an export. We appreciate you looking it over and letting us know your concerns. If you have further questions please contact Scott Thomas.

Below are answers to your questions.


Al Kolwicz: The Voter Registration file contains: Non-citizens.
Hillary Hall:
While 36 people have been flagged as non-citizens, these voters were flagged incorrectly. This field is one of the issues that we have identified in SCORE. We are continuing to work with the Colorado Secretary of State's office to make improvements to such areas of the system. As you are aware anyone registering to vote is required to sign an oath, which includes an affirmation that they are a U.S. citizen. It is noted on all voter registration forms that it is a crime to swear or affirm falsely to this qualification. Therefore, anyone who has completed, signed, and returned a voter registration form to our office is to our knowledge a U.S. citizen. We also check all voters' certified identification as provided by the Help America Vote Act. It should also be noted that even if a voter is tagged by this field in SCORE, it does not disqualify the voter from receiving a ballot as this non-citizen field is a report only field.

Al Kolwicz: People registered in invalid precincts.
Hillary Hall:
This is just another example of the issues we have identified while in the process of scrubbing the SCORE files. We have identified a total of 113 voters in invalid precincts. We have 39 voter registration files left to correct. Many of these people have provided addresses that are located in new developments not yet in the County's records. The 0 precinct is a place holder precinct.

Al Kolwicz: A suspiciously small number of 2008 Primary Election mail-in voters. We know of at least one voter who is not marked as a non-permanent mail in voter.
Hillary Hall:
I am not sure what you mean by "marked as non-permanent mail in voter". As to the small number, it is reflected in SCORE that we have 66, 563 Boulder County registered voters signed up for permanent mail-in voting. A large portion of these are affiliated as either Democratic or Republican and will receive mail-in ballots for the 2008 Primary Election. Voters are encouraged to check their voter information on our website, www.VoteBoulder.org, to ensure they are registered to vote by mail if they have signed up for this service. If the person to whom you refer accidentally signed up for permanent mail-in status but wanted to vote by mail in this election only, he or she can correct this issue by contacting the Elections Division at 303-413-7740.

Al Kolwicz: There are no place-markers for CONFIDENTIAL voters, so it will be impossible to accurately verify election results for the Canvass.
Hillary Hall:
Al, you are viewing a public export file in which Confidential voters are not included for their protection. A report that includes confidential voters will be available only to the Canvass Board.

Al Kolwicz: There is no DATE associated with the PERMANENT MAIL-IN FLAG.
Hillary Hall:
True. However, our office can look up any voter who has requested to vote by mail and find the date record that the vote by mail request was made to our office.

Al Kolwicz: Key information is not included in the file. For example, there is no indicator for "1st time voter who registered by mail" This will limit the effectiveness of poll watchers.
Hillary Hall:
True. You are correct that this data is not indicated; however, this information is not of consequence for poll watchers because all voters who vote at a polling location are required to show ID. In addition, this information has never been available to the public.

Al Kolwicz: There is no indicator showing that a voter's ballot was REJECTED and its VOTES NOT COUNTED.
Hillary Hall:
This is true, however, there are other reports available that contain a ballot's status, whether it was rejected or if a vote was not counted. This information would be provided to the Canvass Board.

Al Kolwicz: You can easily see the poor quality of the terminology used in the fields. Inconsistent, redundant, and unintelligible.
Hillary Hall:
I disagree with your assessment; employees in the Elections Division are clear on the field information.

Al Kolwicz: 1. It appears that there are no records for voters that voted in prior elections, but are no longer on the current registration file.
Hillary Hall:
True. Cancelled or moved voters are not included in the report, as this information is no longer pertinent to our office. The voter history file only provides a snapshot of how current voters participated in past elections. The report cannot be used to reconstruct a past election. You would need to reference the Statement of Vote if you wished to understand an accurate statistical analysis of voter participation in a past election.

Al Kolwicz: 2. There are records in the Voter Registration file that are not present in the Vote History Details file.
Hillary Hall:
True. Voters with no voting history will have no records in the history file.

Al Kolwicz: 3. There are records in the Vote History Details file that are not present in the Voter Registration file.
Hillary Hall:
True. The history file contains placeholders for the confidential voters. The voter details file does not.

Al Kolwicz: Detail records do not indicate the precinct number of the voter when the vote was recorded.
Hillary Hall:
True. But if an individual voter wants this information, we can research it and find it.

Al Kolwicz: Detail records contain invalid METHOD OF VOTING.
Hillary Hall:
Not true. The Method of Voting field may be empty. There are 244 voter history records that have no data in Method of Voting. All but one of these is from elections prior to 2001. The exception is from the 2004 election.

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