No one can miss the irony that Secretary of State Mike Coffman appointed SOS IT manager Dan Kopelman to represent Colorado on the advisory board to the national Election Assistance Commission which oversees the implementation of the Help American Vote Act. Kopelman is under investigation for possible misuse of state resources concerning voter registration lists and other potential conflicts of interest.HAVA was implemented to assist in the administration of federal elections and to set the election standards for state and local governments. Two respected Coloradan politicians hold leadership roles on the EAC. Appointed by President Bush, former Secretary of State Donnetta Davidson serves as chair and former president of the Denver City Council Rosemary Rodriguez as its vice-chair.
The EAC, with guidance from the Election Advisory Board that Kopelman was appointed to by Coffman, is also charged with implementing election administration improvements; adopting voluntary voting system guidelines; accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment; and serving as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration.
On an interesting note, it looks like Kopelman might have taken a hammer to HAVA’s election “Tool Kit” that guides election officials.
This Tool Kit presents tips, reminders and common sense recommendations culled from discussions with and materials provided by experienced local and state election administrators, voter advocates and academics. In addition, four key sections provide guidance on the management of specific voting systems, focusing on strengthening accountability, reliability, usability and security. Electronic links in the document allow tool kit users to review models provided by their colleagues and other experts.
These practices, shared by colleagues from small and large jurisdictions and reviewed by both the EAC and EAB, are intended to help bolster public confidence in the elections process by providing guidance to election administrators on methods for keeping the process secure while ensuring that every eligible voter can cast a vote and have that vote counted.
Whether Kopelman remains on the EAB is up to Coffman, according to a spokesman for the EAC.