CORA Request to Denver County for Voted Ballots (2015)

Date: 10/14/2015 2:48 PM
 To Amber McReynolds, c/o Denver County Clerk and Recorder

(Dominion Voting System)

Dear Clerk and Recorder or other records custodian if applicable:
 Thanks so much for your efforts making ballots from the municipal election available.

Your county is piloting a new voting system in the November 2015 Coordinated Election.  This email serves as a Colorado Open Records Request for electronic copies of the original pdfs (or if not pdf, the applicable graphic source format) used to print unvoted paper ballots for your election.  This request encompasses ballots for all precincts, styles, voting methods (in-person, by mail/drop-off, emergency, UOCAVA, provisional, replacement) and any others such as specially printed test ballots but only if they in any way have different content. I do not request duplicate sets of pdfs used for e.g. replacement and mail if they are identical. Note however that ballot on demand source files may be different and if so, I am including them in my request.
  
 Note that this is not a request for a pdf created from a scan of the paper form of the ballot - this is for the source file used to create the ballots. Please advise me if the vendor requires a multipage pdf with a page for each instance of printed ballot or for any other reason the data capacity of my records request is too large for email fulfillment.

Although I am not required to explain my intention, I find it beneficial and good manners to do so.  I will be using the pdfs of the unvoted ballots as part of a technical process to independently audit the election and perform an evaluation of the voting system using scans produced by the voting system to be obtained under CORA after certification as referred to below. Please discuss with me any concerns you have over the possibility that these pdfs could be used to create ballots that would be returned in your election or any other similar concerns that would present obstacles to fulfillment. I am prepared to take create an assurance that unexpected ballots will not result including by delaying the fulfillment of the request until Nov. 4.

This email also serves as a presumably helpful advance notice of my intention to CORA request 1) electronic scans produced by the voting equipment used in the pilot election of all the tabulated ballots returned in the 2015 Coordinated election  as soon as C.R.S. 24-72-205.5 allows. I will also be requesting 2) the "cast vote records" or other record of vote patterns recorded per ballot by the voting system. I will also be asking for 3) a newly created electronic color scan copy of each ballot that was duplicated prior to scanning for tabulation.

For requests 1) and 2) these files should be produced in the format and organization defined by the voting system. Only the fulfillment of request 3) will be the result of a scan not performed originally for tabulation. For all three requests I request no reformatting be done other than minimal redaction by adding a black area to an otherwise original graphic file to cover the privacy impinging mark(s) if any. I also ask that each instance of redaction be logged in a note to accompany the records fulfillment.   Note that with this advance notice I hope that you will find a way to most efficiently and inexpensively prepare electronic file copies of the ballots for fulfillment per C.R.S. 24-72-205.5.

That law does have a requirement for potential redaction of identifying marks. I am hoping you will make plans for accomplishing any research regarding identifying marks in the most efficient manner such as during election judge review of the incoming ballots and will discuss any associated costs with me as soon as possible. I am ready to discuss means to use tools in C.R.S. 24-72-205.5 to avoid privacy problems with styles that result in instances of less than 10 alike in the election.

Please respond with an estimate of the amount of any fees that  might be charged in the fulfillment of this future request.

If my request or any portion of it (including the prospective future request) will be denied or fulfilled only in part, please advise and cite the applicable law. If fulfillment will be delayed for any reason, please explain.

Thank you very much.

Harvie Branscomb
 

 

Denver County  website:
 https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-office-of-the-clerk-and-recorder/find-records/open-records-request.html

Open Records Request
Below you will find information on filing an Open Records Request.

Before You File an Open Records Request 

   Check to see if the document you want is available online for public access by using the search box on thewww.denvergov.org home page..
    
   No open records request is necessary for routine city records held by the Clerk and Recorder. If you need a recorded document or a city contract, you can use the standard record request form or simply email your request to cityclerk@denvergov.org. Use the online contract lookup to specify the contract you want.

   Check to see whether the record you want is in the custody of a different Denver agency. This page lists city records commonly requested, and where to find them.

Open Records Request Process 

To request records held by the Clerk and Recorder under the Colorado Open Records Act, please use the following form. It may be filled in on your computer screen.

Pursuant to C.R.S. §24-72-205(6), effective July 1, 2014, staff time may be charged at a rate not to exceed $30.00 per hour.  There shall be no charge for the first hour of time for research and retrieval of records. 

Clerk and Recorder Open Records Request form    

Submit the form in person, or by mail, fax or email. 

Attn: City Clerk
Office of the Clerk and Recorder
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 101
Denver, Colorado 80202
Email: cityclerk@denvergov.org

The Office of the Clerk and Recorder will respond in a timely manner.

When a request is received, an estimate of the effort involved in producing the information will be made. If the cost to the requester will exceed $10.00, the requester will be contacted before the work is undertaken for approval.

Twenty-five cents per page will be charged for photocopies. In addition, if more than 30 minutes is required for searching, retrieving, redacting and compiling documents, staff time will be charged at the rate of $35.00 per hour, billed in 30 minute increments.

If the information requested is voluminous, the documents may be transferred to a portable storage media at a cost of $15.00 per device plus staff preparation time.

https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/city-of-denver-home/cora.html

Citywide Colorado Open Records Fee Policy

In order to pay for the cost of staff, custodians of public records within the City and County of Denver may charge for research and retrieval time necessary to respond to requests for records under the Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”).  Pursuant to C.R.S. §24-72-205(6), effective July 1, 2014, staff time may be charged at a rate not to exceed $30.00 per hour.  There shall be no charge for the first hour of time for research and retrieval of records. 

When a record custodian receives a CORA request, the custodian may estimate the research and retrieval time it will take to research and retrieve the records requested.  The estimate of time and the appropriate fee may be provided to the requestor before work is performed, to determine if the requestor seeks to move forward with his/her request, understanding the associated cost.  The custodian may require the requestor to pay the fee before proceeding to research and retrieve the records.  If the requestor pays the fee based on the estimate and the time necessary to subsequently perform the research and retrieval of the records is less than the estimate, the custodian shall give a refund to the requestor. 

http://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-city-council/about-us/open-records-policy.html 

Open Records Policy

Denver City Council’s Request for Open Records Policy
  (Updated 06/18/2014)
  
   The policy stated below only applies to City Council records.  For all other requests contact the agency relevant to your request.  
  
  Requests for City Council records should be sent to the Council Executive Director at janna.young@denvergov.org and must include the following:
  • Subject matter to be searched in as descriptive terms as possible
  • Dates of search
  • Types of documents to be searched (email, written documents, reports, etc.)
  
  In order to pay for the cost of professional time utilized for the search and retrieval of records, the Denver City Council charges a rate of $25/hour to respond to requests for records under the Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”). Pursuant to C.R.S. §24-72-205(6), effective July 1, 2014, there is no charge for the first hour of time for research and retrieval of records.  
  
  When City Council receives an open records request, the Council Executive Director estimates the time it will take to compile the records and the associated fee.  S/he then provides that information to the requestor before work is performed to determine if the requestor wishes to move forward with the request understanding the associated cost.  Upon confirmation from the requestor, City Council has 72 hours to respond or to request more time if needed per C.R.S. statute.  
  
  If authorized to move forward with the request, the Executive Director will provide an invoice to the requestor once the search has been completed and the records prepared for delivery.  Payment is required before the records can be released to the requestor.
  
  The Denver City Council also charges for copies per CRS 24-72-205(3) at $0.25/page.  If the information requested is voluminous, information may be transferred to an electronic disk which will be available for $15.00, plus staff preparation time.  As much as possible, the Council will transmit responsive documents via email at no cost. 
  
  For more information about City Council’s open records policy, please call 720.337.2001.

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