Some residents in West Metro Fire Protection District getting multiple ballots

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Some residents in the West Metro Fire Rescue Protection District are getting multiple ballots for the upcoming election.

Dennie Dorall contacted 7NEWS after receiving two ballots for the upcoming election.  Her husband also received a ballot and he's not a U.S. citizen.

"If he's getting one of these ballots and he's not a registered voter, how many other people are going to be voting that aren't registered voters, and is that fair?" Dorall said.

West Metro Fire Chief Don Lombardi blamed some 200 duplications on a software glitch. Officials are asking voters to vote on one ballot and destroy the other.

"We get a voter list from the clerk and recorder from Jefferson County and then we also get [a voter list] for special districts, we get a property list from the appraiser's office. When we merged those two lists, we think that there was a data management glitch in that," Chief Lombardi said.

"We also had viewers complain that one who isn't a U.S. citizen got a ballot and then another who's a minor got a ballot. Were you aware of those problems?" asked 7NEWS reporter Molly Hendrickson.

"Not on the person who was not a U.S. Citizen. Jefferson County had some minors for when they registered for their drivers license that they pre-registered for elections. That list has been cleaned up and we're confident that those votes will not be taken," Lombardi said.

The May 6 election is a mail-in only election. Elections officials are currently checking every ballot that comes in against an updated voter registration list.

"We have two people checking those lists for each vote, so we're confident that we'll have just one vote for every ballot that's taken in," Chief Lombardi said.

Voters are being asked to elect four Board of Director positions. They're also voting on whether to raise the district's property tax by three mills, which is about $2 per month for each $100,000 of property value of a home. This equals to about $24 a year per household, according to the fire district's website: http://ch7ne.ws/1fgqLuR

West Metro Fire said the current fixed mill levy is 12.382. The increase of 3 mills would raise about $8.6 million a year, officials said.

The district said the additional tax revenue would help maintain the fire agency's quick response times in keeping with nationally accredited standards and maintain and improve wildland firefighting, hazardous materials response, swift-water flood rescue, and technical, rock-climbing rescue. It would also ensure the district has highly trained emergency medical staff, including fully cross-trained firefighters and paramedics.

West Metro provides fire and rescue serves Lakewood and Morrison and parts of Golden, Wheat Ridge, unincorporated Littleton, unincorporated Jefferson County, the Roxborough communities and Waterton Canyon.

The Secretary of State doesn't have oversight over this election, but spokesman Andrew Cole offered this statement about ballot policies:

"Only registered voters should receive ballots. Under state law, this means that they must be 18 years or older, a resident, and a U.S. citizen. Best practices for election administration should keep ineligible people from receiving ballots as well as eligible voters receiving duplicate ballots."

Elections officials told 7NEWS they will look into why the man who isn't a U.S. citizen received a ballot.

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