DMI Blog

Elana Levin

letter to the editor of the week!

My brother was one of those college students left standing in a snowstorm for five hours waiting to vote in the general election of 2004. Yeah, it was in Ohio.

So of course no one should be too shocked when voters face multiple barriers to voting.
One rightfully frustrated voter wrote in to The Denver Post about his experience trying to vote in the primary election. I am not an expert on how elections are administered in Denver and I don't have enough information to endorse the solution the writer proposes, but I think its important to call attention to the problems still faced by voters even 6 years after the 2000 election and even in low turnout primary elections.

Frank Ohrtman, I feel your pain. And Frank Ohrtman of Denver, I salute you.

* * * *
Frustrated by problems at voting center

My wife and I arrived at Denver's Botanic Gardens vote center at approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday (more than an hour after voting was supposed to open) to vote in the primary election. There was no convenient parking for myself and my pregnant wife. Next, we checked in and waited patiently for a voting machine. It appeared that less than half of the machines there were in operation. Once it was my turn to vote, the voting machine would not register Senate District 32, the only open contest on the ballot. A search for a functioning machine finally allowed me to cast my vote.

Frustrated vote-center volunteers complained that the Election Commission personnel were 45 minutes late in arriving at the vote center with computers and other equipment. Some confusing code for programming machines by vote center volunteers allowed some voters to vote for Senate District 32, while other machines would not present a Senate District 32 ballot.

In my experience, the voting center at Botanic Gardens did not work. The solution is to end the three-person Denver Election Commission and replace it with a single head who can be readily fired for mismanaging something as mundane as an August primary election.

Frank Ohrtman, Denver

Elana Levin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 10:19 AM, Aug 18, 2006 in Democracy | Letter To The Editor of the Week | States | Voting Rights | public services
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