DENVER (CBS4)– Voters in some states are already casting ballots. In Colorado, ballots will be mailed out Monday, Oct. 17. On Thursday, Denver tested it’s voting equipment.
It’s a step required by state law to make sure the equipment is recording and counting votes properly.
“Today we’re doing our public logic and accuracy tests, it’s the second in a series of three tests utilized during the voting process. We test our system first using hardware diagnostics and this is the second and it’s the public test and we have members of each major party as our testing board. They go through and mark ballots, then tally those and compare them to a hand tally, we also test the tablet marking devices that we will be using in the field,” said Amber McReynolds, the Director of Elections for the City and County of Denver.
Barry Sarver, the representative for the Democrats, along with Amy Naes from the Republican party, took about three hours to fill out ballots totaling 25 each. They then repeated the process 25 times on the tablets. It’s tedious but a necessary step to avoid problems come Election Day.
Another concern election officials are dealing with is cyber security. It’s been a concern not just here in Denver, but across the nation. Experts say voter registration databases could be more vulnerable to tampering.
“Our voting system and all of our voting devices as well as our scanning equipment in this room are on an air-gapped non-network system, so it’s an off network system. It’s not attached to the internet in any way so there’s no vulnerability in terms of getting into the system outside of the office itself,” said McReynolds.
This is the first presidential election where ballots are mailed out to all active voters in Colorado. There are about 1.3 million across the state according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
“In previous elections, voters would have to request to get a mail ballot so that’s our new model,” said McReynolds. “I think our job as election officials is to make it easy and accessible for voters and we certainly we have done that. In 2012 in Denver we had about 91 percent active voter turnout and so we anticipate that this year, maybe even a little higher.”
If you choose to mail in the ballot, it will cost 68 cents. Officials say it should be in the mail no later than Nov. 1 in order to arrive at the election office by Election Day.
Voters can cast ballots early and in person on Oct. 24 or drop it off at any 24-hour drop box starting Oct. 17 through Election Day Nov. 8.