ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Political analysts say how Arapahoe County voters choose could decide the White House, but a group of critics call the electronic machines used there faulty.

More than a million Coloradans have already cast their vote. Numbers released from the Secretary of State’s Office show 39 percent of early voters are registered Republicans, 36 percent are Democrats, with the rest are unaffiliated. The numbers come out the same day a group is criticizing the secretary’s office and casting doubt on the accuracy of votes in the critical county.

“It could compromise the integrity of the entire election in a very close state,” attorney Paul Hultin said.

Hultin sued the state in 2006 claiming the electronic machines could be easily manipulated. Now he’s charging the Secretary of State’s Office with not monitoring the installation of software to ensure the security of a ballot.

“He hasn’t followed his own regulations to ensure the touch-screen voting machines meet state standards and he hasn’t done the inspections to make sure standards have been met,” Hultin said.

The Secretary of State’s Office disagrees. Scott Gessler says his office personally monitored over 1,000 voting machines, including over 400 electronic devices like the ones used in Arapahoe County.

“This equipment has held up in the most rigorous condition in the state of Colorado year after year after year,” Gessler said.

Voters in Arapahoe County can check a physical copy of their ballot. A paper copy is printed redundantly for voters to check the accuracy of their ballot.

Gessler says skeptical voters questioning the electronic machines are simply paranoid.

“If someone comes to me with a specific problem with evidence, we’ll make the change, but I haven’t seen it,” Gessler said.

Gessler says he has actually increased monitoring of election regulation. Random checks were performed at polling places this year that had not been done under the previous secretary of state.


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