Quirks at the clerk's
By Anthony Lane, Colorado Springs Independent
Voters fret about errors, glitches and strange alliances
There's an agitated vibe at the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's election department Tuesday morning.
Though election day's only three weeks away and mail-in voting has started, residents waiting in line worry about missing and mistake-bearing paperwork.
Mary O'Donnell waits clutching two mail-in ballots. One is her own, but she wants a replacement after she mistakenly printed her name on the return envelope instead of signing. The other ballot is her roommate's, which arrived despite a data-entry error that shipped it with the wrong ZIP code.
After she learns her roommate will have to deal with her own ballot, she obtains new materials for herself.
But where her first envelope had codes and numbers next to her name and address, the new one has "DEM" printed conspicuously.
O'Donnell says she decided to vote with a mail-in ballot because of doubts about touch-screen voting machines and scanners used on election day, and mistrust for an election official charged with programming them. Now, her Democratic Party affiliation is marked prominently on the envelope in which she's required to submit her completed ballot — visible to postal workers and anyone else who'd handle it.