Denver Calls in Swat Team to Count Ballots

After watching the tv news and clicking on local media websites all night long, trying to determine the outcome of the marijuana initiative on Denver's ballot that would make pot offenses the lowest priority for Denver's police, I gave up.

It was a mostly mail-in election and there were major problems counting the ballots. At midnight, with 70,000 of the 90,000 votes counted, the initiative was winning 55.5% to 45.5%.

Then Denver's Clerk and Recorder called in the Swat Team to finish counting the ballots. Calling in the police to count the votes on a marijuana reform measure?

If the vote changes by morning, I want a recount.

Update: It looks like the pot initiative passed. Congratulations, Safer Denver. They will be counting votes until this afternoon, but 75,000 of the 90,000 are counted and its winning by 56.3% to 43.7%.

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    Per an update on the Denver Post (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 08:33:19 AM EST
    website posted about 6:30 AM MT, the referendum won, 56-44.  Y'gotta scroll down to find it, but there it is.

    Sweet.... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 08:35:55 AM EST
    The voters of Denver have their heads on straight, at least 56% of them do...when will our leaders get the hint?

    They aren't counting (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MikeDitto on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 08:45:06 AM EST
    They are just opening the envelopes, schlepping boxes, and other grunt work.

    The "higher than expected turnout" line is a crock. It's he DEC making excuses for its failure, once again.

    It seems firing the election commission did nothing, as the new clerk was apparently unwilling or unable to clean house among the staff, which is where it was needed. Hopefully this tiny little election will give her the motivation to do her job, make tough choices, and hire qualified people. '08 is not going to be 43% turnout.

    I hope you'll be able to get one. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Lora on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 06:57:51 AM EST
    If the vote changes by morning, I want a recount.

    With those lovely black boxes and huge restrictions on who can observe, validate, and confirm that votes were counted completely and accurately, a recount is a luxury these days.  If you get one, who will insure that it is accurate and valid and will actually be used in deciding the vote?

    Good luck with that.  Truly.  And...do you really want to trust that your state, local, and national elections to these machines and the people who make, service, and are ultimately responsible for them?  (HINT:  THEY ARE NOT YOUR DULY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES.)

    Hand counting (none / 0) (#2)
    by Lora on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:12:18 AM EST
    ..when done right is the most transparent, easily validated way to count an election.  Seems like they were not prepared for it.  Any observers, and who were they?

    Actually, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:39:45 AM EST
    mail-in balloting is perhaps the single stupidest method possible for holding an election. I can't think of a worse possible way to hold an election. The opportunity for fraud is just about as high as humanly  possible to design  and the arguments in favor of other security relaxations which contribute to fraud (not requiring prior registration, proof of identity, voting at proper precinct, etc.) are pretty much entirely absent.

    If poor people are restricted from voting in person  because they don't have ID and can't figure out how to register and appear at the proper pololing place at the proper time then we should be really up in arms about a system that would assuredly miss thousands of voters whose current addresses are not known to government or who are transient or living in facilities where personally addressed mail will not reach them.


    People could still vote by machine (none / 0) (#7)
    by MikeDitto on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 08:47:43 AM EST
    They just had to go to the Webb office building downtown on election day. It was extremely poorly publicized, but it was there.

    silly me! (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:22:52 AM EST
    i was always taught that it was the individual's responsibility to find out where their correct polling location was, the date of the election, etc., upon reasonable notification by the locality. clearly, i was misinformed.