Date: 04/16/2009

BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1335


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

07:39 AM -- House Bill 09-1335

Representatives Todd and Murray, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 09-1335, concerning requirements for voting equipment. Representative Todd explained the effect of the bill, and discussed the work that went into introducing the legislation. Representative Murray discussed events surrounding the certification of electronic voting equipment, and the need to address the issue of using such equipment.

07:44 AM

The following persons testified regarding House Bill 09-1335:

07:45 AM --
Mr. Harvie Branscomb, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity and the Colorado Voter Group, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Branscomb discussed the importance of integrity in the election process, and explained how power is shifting from the citizenry to the government as a result of elections legislation being considered. Mr. Branscomb also discussed the process by which elections legislation has gone forward during the 2009 session, and the public's participation in addressing elections-related issues. Mr. Branscomb then discussed the fact that House Bill 09-1335 does harm to transparency in elections, and also lacks a proper level of specificity.

07:55 AM

Mr. Branscomb discussed problems associated with certifying electronic voting equipment during recent years, and actions taken by the legislature to address certification. Mr. Branscomb then brought forward ten issues that he wished to have addressed in House Bill 09-1335, including transparency in the voting equipment certification process, and the criteria that should be included in statutes governing certification.

08:05 AM

Mr. Branscomb continued to brief the committee on his ten issues with House Bill 09-1335, addressing elections auditing. Discussion ensued regarding the investment of power over elections in the Secretary of State by the bill, and the ability to replace the secretary through an election.

08:17 AM

Discussion ensued regarding the ability of the public to participate in the promulgation of election rules by the Secretary of State. Discussion followed regarding the review process pertaining to elections auditing under the bill, and the need to address certain details not adequately covered by the bill.

08:27 AM

Discussion continued regarding the process by which certain details will be addressed as House Bill 09-1335 goes forward.

08:29 AM --
Mr. Bernie Buescher, Secretary of State, testified regarding House Bill 09-1335. Secretary Buescher provided background on the certification of voting technology, and work undertaken to address this and other issues. Secretary Buescher also discussed the amount of powers and duties accruing to the Department of State under the bill, and the public's participation in the process of crafting elections law.

08:33 AM --
Ms. Jenny Flanagan, representing Common Cause, testified regarding the bill. Ms. Flanagan discussed the need to allow for recertification of voting equipment, while addressing the issues of voter confidence and elections integrity. Ms. Flanagan expressed reservations with a provision in the bill that allows an exemption from voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPAT) in electronic voting equipment. Ms. Flanagan responded to questions regarding the number of counties in Colorado that do not use voting equipment with VVPAT. Discussion ensued regarding such counties' compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

08:38 AM --
Ms. Mary Eberle, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, testified in opposition to House Bill 09-1335. Ms. Eberle discussed the potential for delaying the issue of voting equipment recertification, and addressed the issue of integrity in the election process. Ms. Eberle then discussed certain issues pertaining to equipment recertification and election auditing technology. Discussion ensued regarding the process of vote recounting.

08:43 AM --
Ms. Carol Tone, representing the League of Women Voters, testified regarding House Bill 09-1335 and the other elections bills before the committee. Ms. Tone discussed the league's support for balloting with a paper record. Discussion ensued regarding the reasons for phasing out certain types of voting technology by 2014 instead of 2010.

08:46 AM --
Ms. Julie Reiskin, representing the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, testified in favor of the bill. Ms. Reiskin discussed the coalition's position on requiring paper ballots for elections.

08:48 AM --
Clerks Hillary Hall and Jack Arrowsmith, representing the Colorado County Clerks Association, testified in favor of the bill. Clerk Arrowsmith discussed the level of urgency associated with the need to renew the electronic voting machine recertification process, and the timing associated with this renewal under the bill. Clerk Hall discussed voting technology options available to counties, and fiscal constraints placed on counties that limit these options. Clerk Hall then discussed the merits of the elections auditing process established by the bill. Discussion ensued regarding the fiscal impact of House Bill 09-1335 and associated legislation on local governments. Discussion ensued regarding the collection of mail ballots under House Bill 09-1337.

08:57 AM --
Clerk Pam Anderson, representing Jefferson County, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1335. Clerk Anderson expressed support for the bill's VVPAT provision, and provided information on the voting technology used in Jefferson County. Clerk Anderson then discussed the costs that the county would incur if required to install VVPAT technology on its voting equipment, and the level of service provided to the county's voter. Clerk Anderson expressed support for House Bill 09-1336 and House Bill 09-1337, and addressed the issue of timing for collection of mail ballots.

09:03 AM --
Ms. Margit Johansson, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Johansson expressed reservations with recertification of certain voting technology, and the ability to accommodate all-paper-ballot elections using current technologies available to counties. Ms. Johansson also addressed the VVPAT issue.

09:07 AM

The committee recessed.