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County backs panel's report on Boulder election ills

George Merritt    Denver Post    28 July 2005

Boulder County - Clerk and Recorder Linda Salas' office released its response Wednesday to why voters waited nearly three days for election results last year.

Salas, chief deputy Nancy Jo Wurl and election coordinator Josh Liss mostly agreed with the county Election Review Committee's assessment that a "perfect storm" of factors led to November's delays.

Three times in its 29-page report, the group emphasized in boldface type that while the count took too long, the results were accurate.

"We do not disagree with the ERC's report," Liss said in an interview. "And we are trying to outline steps that we are going to take in the future to make sure that the delays encountered in 2004 won't be revisited."

Voters in the 2006 election will be able to vote at large centers instead of smaller precincts, according to the office's response. The election division plans to review that concept as part of a way to speed up the tallying of votes.

In response to public outcry over the delays, the county set up the nine-member election review panel to study the problems. In June, the committee blamed several factors, from federal lawsuits and the Help America Vote Act to problems that forced officials to count about 13,000 ballots by hand.

Except for pointing out incorrect details, the clerk and recorder's office agreed with the committee.

Salas and Liss said they were satisfied with the Hart InterCivic voting machines despite being forced to hand-count so many ballots. County Commissioner

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