Colorado election officials promise votes will be counted accurately

Protocol in place as early voting gets underway

DENVER - Colorado voters began early voting Monday and 7NEWS learned safeguards are in place to protect every vote.

"There's a certain satisfaction in putting it in the box," said Denver early voter Matthew Whitcomv as he placed his ballot in a drop box outside the Denver Election Division office. "I know it's in there now."

Seventy percent of active voters in Colorado requested mail-in ballots this year.

Officials in Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler's office said despite Gessler's voter registration verification effort that critics called partisan, voters can be confident their votes will be accurately counted.

7NEWS found there is strict protocol that county election commissions have to follow to ensure the count is accurate. Among the rules, ballot boxes are required to be under the constant view of security cameras. If those boxes are transported for any reason, it has be done in bipartisan fashion with a Democrat and a Republican official present.

To ensure the accuracy of electronic voting machines, voters will get to see an official printed record of their ballot at the machine.

Next week, counties can begin processing ballots but no tabulations will be known. In the meantime, memory cards in processing machines have to be secured and are required to be transported with the same safeguards as ballot boxes -- Democrat and a Republican official present.

"Nobody knows what the results are until they begin to tabulate those results after 7 p.m. on Election Day," said Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office. "Right now, they're just verifying signatures, opening those mail ballots and preparing them for counting."

In Denver, residents are invited to view the process taking place at the city's election office. Workers are verifying ballots within view of windows where people can watch.

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