Ballots Disqualified After Voting System Glitch

Thousands Affected During Early Voting In Routt County

An encryption error resulted in thousands of ballots in Routt County to be null and void during the early voting period for November's general election.

Kay Weinland, Routt County Clerk and Recorder, said her department has fixed the problem but as a result, 5,772 ballots that were mailed out to voters are no longer good.

"We have 3 ECM keys, which are the encryption code keys," she said. "We broke one of them. While we were working on fixing that, we then discovered the other two had basically been corrupted."

Weinland said that the voting system itself was not damaged, and there wasn't a problem with the ballots mailed out. However the computer glitch caused the Clerk and Recorder office to lose its voting database.

The problem was spotted in the middle of last week. The office worked on remedying the problem before coming to the conclusion that the early ballots were no longer good.

"Because we had to re-create the database," Weinland said. "The system will not recognize the ballots we initially scanned."

There are 13,211 active voters in Routt County, and 17,285 voters total. The Clerk and Recorder Office has been using its voting system since 2006, and Weinland said they have not experienced any issues with it since now. Also paper ballots and print-outs from electronic voting devices are kept for 25 months in case an issue with the voting system arises.

Weinland said her office has contacted affected voters and they have several options. She said election judges will begin replicating received ballots by hand. Also residents can vote electronically at the Routt County Courthouse or receive a new ballot.

Residents may request a replacement ballot online by visiting Routt County Clerk and Recorder Web site, or they can request one in person from Monday through Friday during business hours at the Routt County Election Office, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs.