The Denver City Council, with its newly elected president, has a tough decision to make about democracy in the Mile High city. It can restructure the city’s Election Commission completely, or it can investigate the failures and go about ways to fix them. Either way, there’s no denying that there are problems.
A little over a month ago, 150,000 voter files with personal information were found to be missing from the Commission offices. It was also reported that the Commission did not publicly announce the incident until approximately three months after the discovery. That, compounded with 13,000 absentee ballots being mailed out late in the 2004 election, has encouraged some public officials to try and revamp the entire process. Again.Denver is one of two counties in the state where the city’s Election Commission consists of three people: a Clerk and Recorder appointed by the mayor, and two other members elected by the public. Last year, former council president Rosemary Rodriguez partnered with the non-profit group Common Cause to pass litigation that would make the Clerk and Recorder an elected position, and an overseer and appointer for other election officials It failed however, when 12 council members voted against it (with one abstention), unsure of certain provisions.
But with the file fiasco from last June, a government taskforce has been created to address the issue, and is currently getting input from the public.
Discussion dates and locations:
- July 21, 2006 9 a.m.