Colorado Governor Delays Switch to Vote By Mail, Supports Polls with Paper Ballots

Showing unusually clear thinking, Gov. Bill Ritter Jr, has made what appears to be a good decision:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/us/politics/24ballot.html?ref=us 

DENVER — Coloradans will not be required to vote by mail in November, Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. said Wednesday in announcing a one-year emergency repair plan for the state’s voting system. 

Mr. Ritter, a Democrat, said a bill with bipartisan sponsors would be introduced in the next few days in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly that would allow voters to cast paper ballots at regular polling places.

The mechanics of Colorado’s election were thrown into disarray last month when the secretary of state, Mike Coffman, a Republican, decertified many of the electronic machines used to vote or to count votes because of problems with accuracy or security.

A majority of the state’s county clerks — the field marshals of the voting system — supported a statewide all-mail-in election as the best stop-gap option, which would have made Colorado the second state in the nation, after Oregon, to use all-mail voting. And some leaders in the legislature had seemed inclined to go along with the idea as well.

But Mr. Ritter, speaking at a news conference at the Capitol, said the problems and risks of introducing a mandatory all-mail system by November were too daunting. And some county clerks, he added, also opposed the idea.

“Paper ballots are a tried-and-true method that has worked for decades,” Mr. Ritter said. As for an all-mail system, he added, “we’d be building an airplane in the air.”

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