City Releasing 2009 Municipal Election Ballot Images
Contact: Jim True, City Attorney, 970-920-5108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen, Colorado – May 16, 2013 – The City of Aspen is making ballot images from the 2009 municipal election available to the public on Thursday, May 16, 2013 on the City’s website on the Clerk’s page as well as releasing them to the attorney for Marilyn Marks who sued the City for access to these ballots. May 16, 2013 is the deadline to provide the images to Marks and the City wants the public and press to have the same opportunity to view them.
In 2009 Marilyn Marks filed a lawsuit to force the City to release all the ballot images that were created as part of the instant run-off election. The City opposed the release of the images in court because it believed the law prohibited public examination of the ballots. The local district court agreed with the City but Marks continued to fight and the Court of Appeals ruled in her favor. There was, however, a condition placed on the release of images of the ballots that did recognize a significant part of the City’s argument. The Court of Appeals directed the City Clerk to withhold ballots that contained markings that could identify a voter, including all write-in votes. With the release of the 2009 ballots, 129 have been withheld due to identifying markers.
Historically, the right to a secret ballot was won after a long fought battle throughout the nation by those who sought to end fraud, abuse and corruption in the electoral process. The Colorado Constitution now guarantees the right to a secret ballot to voters in this state.
The efforts of the City throughout this Court case were designed only to assert and protect the right of the citizens of the City to a secret ballot. There was no other purpose. The election was conducted and the votes were counted in a manner that was consistent with the appropriately adopted rules. These images confirm that fact.
A link to the images is on this page: http://www.aspenpitkin.com/Departments/Clerk/