Pikes Peak Newspapers letters to the editor

Re: Aug. 5 Locke letter

As an occasional temporary employee of El Paso County during elections, I read Patricia Locke’s Aug. 5 letter with great curiosity. How can someone write so assuredly about something they obviously know nothing about? For four elections to date I’ve worked as an Election Judge/Ballot Processor and I’d like everyone to know that yes, as a matter of fact, your ballot signature IS verified against a file copy.

Ballots are first run through an optical reader which kicks out a percentage of signatures that cannot be matched by technology. Those ballots then go to a large bank of human beings who sit at computers and visually match EACH AND EVERY signature. Any that are questionable proceed up the line of verification and eventually the voter is contacted to verify their ballot if all other checks and balances fail.

In addition to signature verification, there are many other control mechanisms in place. Each team of processors has to be Party balanced. Each ballot is manually scanned for abnormalities and pulled for individual review if questions exist. If there is a serious issue, the entire room is brought to a halt until the discrepancy is resolved. Online status of your ballot is available at any time. This is only a few of the strict and thorough processes in place to assure that El Paso County elections are safe, secure and accurate. I had no idea how things worked until I witnessed the operation for myself, and have to say I’m more than impressed.

What I find “laughable” is folks who opine about issues they know absolutely nothing about. Perhaps a tour of the county’s ballot processing operation would be a good field trip for Ms. Locke. Or better yet, work as a ballot processor during the next election where you can learn about mail in voting for yourself.

Karin White

Colorado Springs

City Council redistricting process public meetings

Every four years the City of Colorado Springs re-aligns the six City Council districts in response to changes in population. The updated City Council districts are set in advance of the non-partisan municipal elections that will be held on April 6, 2021.

Our City Council members deliberate and vote on difficult and sometimes contentious legislation such as police accountability, parks land acquisitions, Colorado Springs Utilities renewable energy policy, accessory dwelling units, homelessness, and affordable housing development. The City Council in collaboration with the mayor creates the city budget. The City Council approves and oversees public-private special districts and enterprise zones that help attract and retain businesses.

Your voice in how the city government is run and the kind of leadership you want is important. This begins with ensuring that there is fair and equitable representation on the City Council. You are invited to comment on the proposed changes to the City Council district boundaries via the council-appointed volunteer advisory committee. Visit the city website at coloradosprings.gov/redistricting or send an email to elections@coloradosprings.gov for more information on participating in this important electoral process.

Carlos Perez, Districting Process Advisory Committee Member

Colorado Springs

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