Douglas County 2015 CORA Request for ballots

To Douglas County Clerk and Recorder office
 (Hart Voting System)

Dear Clerk and Recorder or other records custodian if applicable:

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
 harvie@electionquality.com

 

For Reference:

Douglas County  website: http://www.douglas.co.us/documents/requests-for-public-records-procedure.pdf

Note that the following  phrases appear in the relevant portion of the following document without any further link or explanation:

” – Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Internal Policies
Rules with Reference to the Inspection of Public Records within the Custody of the Office of the Douglas County Clerk and Recorder”

Page 1 of 4
 DOUGLAS COUNTY
 ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
 TITLE
 Requests for Public Records Procedure
 Approval Date
 11/13/90
 POLICY CUSTODIAN
 County Manager
 Revision Date
 2/25/15
 PURPOSE: The following procedure ensures that any member of the public will be provided reasonable access to public records covered under CORA.
 OFFICE OR
 DEPARTMENT(s) RESPONSIBLE: All
 OFFICE OR
 DEPARTMENT(s) AFFECTED: All
 INTRODUCTION:
 The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), C.R.S. 24-72-201 et seq. guarantees that the public has access to the records of government bodies at all levels in Colorado. Most records are public and open for inspection. Douglas County’s elected officials and department heads are the official custodians of records maintained within their respective offices and departments.
 The following procedure ensures that any member of the public will be provided reasonable access to Douglas County’s public records covered under CORA. Reasonable access is defined as allowing a person requesting public information to use available county resources to review or obtain copies of public records.
 This document is subject to modifications to CORA, or other State Statutes, which shall supersede any conflicting provisions in this document.
 Record requests will be fulfilled within three working days or, when extenuating circumstances apply, within an additional seven working days as established by CORA. We will notify you when there are extenuating circumstances that do not allow us to respond to your request within three working days.
 Requesting Public Records To request public records, contact the Douglas County office or department that is the designated custodian for that specific information. Each office or department will help you with the request and provide information about any applicable fees for obtaining copies of public records. (A contact list is provided at the end of this document). If you need help during your initial contact with Douglas County, please call 303-660-7400 and explain the type of information you are seeking; the County’s Front Desk Receptionist will help you get started.
 Describe your request as specifically as possible. If the document name is unknown, provide a brief, but specific, description of the information requested. Include dates, type of document, parties involved, etc. Broad, vague or voluminous requests may cause delays in producing the records. Your contact information is not needed unless
 Page 2 of 4
 copies of public records are sent by mail, or if additional information is needed to fulfill your request. It is not necessary to disclose your reason for making the request, unless such information is necessary to fulfill the request.
 You may be required to submit the request in writing if the records custodian believes it is reasonable and appropriate based on the specific and unique circumstances of the request or will help us better serve your needs for identifying the records you are requesting.
 Reviewing Public Records You may review public documents or request copies of documents available from Douglas County. If you ask to review original documents, we may request that you follow certain procedures to protect the integrity of the public record. For example, you may:
 • Be supervised by a county employee within the area where the records are stored and/or maintained;
 • Need to review records in a designated area or be asked to schedule for a particular time of day in order to not unduly disrupt the day-to-day activities of that specific office or department.
 Questions or problems arising from a request for public records should be referred to the Elected Official, County Manager or Department Director who is the custodian of the specific record(s). See Contact Information at the end of this document.
 Please note: Records that are prohibited from disclosure under CORA or other statute(s) cannot be made available to the public. Douglas County may also hold certain private and /or financial information about individuals that will not be released except upon the approval of that individual.
 Fees Douglas County seeks to meet public information requests in the most economical way possible. Any fees charged by Douglas County will be consistent with the provisions of CORA. The nature of the request will dictate any potential fees or costs. Costs for standard photocopies will not exceed the limit set by CORA (currently $.25 per page) unless actual costs exceed that amount.
 For Board of County Commissioner departments (i.e., non-elected or appointed offices), the following is our practice regarding fees beyond photocopies. If a specific request requires a substantial devotion of staff time, for the purposes of researching and retrieving records or supervising the physical inspection of original documents, then a fee of $30 per hour may be charged to the requesting party. For the purposes of this document, “substantial devotion of staff time” shall mean more than one hour, and said fee shall not begin to accrue until after the first hour of staff time. If manipulation of data is necessary to produce a record or document in a form not normally used by the County, the County will charge the actual cost to manipulate the data and generate the record or document. Such data manipulation may not be required under CORA but may be provided voluntarily by the County to assist in satisfying a request.
 A requesting party should be notified of the estimated fees and costs, and said fees and costs should be collected from the requesting party before any such costs are incurred by the County. Only actual costs will be charged, and if the estimate exceeded the actual expense of filling the request, the excess will be refunded to the requestor.
 Contact Information This list may be helpful when you make your initial contact with Douglas County to request copies of public records. The specific contact listed for each County Office or department is not the legal custodian of the requested document(s); however, the contact person will be able to direct all requests for public records to the appropriate custodian. Keep in mind that not all records are considered public information and each office or county department can inform the requestor about any records that are not part of CORA. Each Office may have
 Page 3 of 4
 different statutory requirements regarding their responsibilities as custodians of specific documents. If you are uncertain about how to request public information from a certain office or department, it is recommended that you contact that office or department in advance of your actual request to determine how best to proceed with your request. A great deal of information about Douglas County is available on our web site. This information may help you formulate your information request.
 Board of County Commissioners Contact: Dru Campbell Phone: 303.660.7401 Address: 100 Third Street Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: bocc@douglas.co.us (please note that you are making a Records Request in the header of your message) Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 County Administration Contact: Christy Gordon Phone: 303.660.7401 Address: 100 Third Street Castle Rock, CO 80104 Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records:
 • Community Development – including Planning; Parks, Trails and Building Grounds; Economic Development
 • Facilities, Fleet & Emergency Support Services
 • Finance
 • Human Resources
 • Information Technology
 • Media Relations
 • Open Space
 • Public Works Engineering – including Building, Engineering, Stormwater and Traffic
 • Public Works Operations
 County Attorney Contact: County Attorney Phone: 303.660.7414 Address: 100 Third Street Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: attorney@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Assessor’s Office Contact: Marian Woodward Phone: 303.660.7450 Address: 301 Wilcox St, Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: assessors@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Property records, Parcel maps, Taxing Authority information
 Clerk & Recorder’s Office Contact: Codie Brenner Phone: 303.660.7321 Address: 301 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104
 Page 4 of 4
 Email: cbrenner@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Records are available for the following Divisions: Motor Vehicle, Recording, Elections, and Clerk to the Board.
 · Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Internal Policies
 · Rules with Reference to the Inspection of Public Records within the Custody of the Office of the Douglas County Clerk and Recorder
 Coroner’s Office Contact: Open records request Phone: 303.814.7150 Address: 4000 Justice Way Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: coroner@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Coroner’s reports, autopsy reports
 Public Trustee’s Office Contact: Open records request Phone: 303.660.7417 Address: 301 Wilcox St, Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: pubtrust@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Foreclosures
 Sheriff’s Office Contact: Records Division Phone: 303.660.7545 Address: 4000 Justice Way Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: dcso@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Criminal justice records, criminal reports, traffic tickets, sex offender lists, etc.
 Treasurer’s Office Contact: Dayle DiCairano Phone: 303.660.7455 Address: 100 Third Street Castle Rock, CO 80104 Email: dctreasurer@douglas.co.us Business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
 Custodian of these general records: Property tax information, taxing authority distribution, investment portfolio, tax lien/treasurer’s deed, etc.

Go back to 2015 CORA Archive page