FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, November 14, 2007
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Mayor’s Office
Mayor Hickenlooper and Council President Hancock Launch Investigative Panel on Election Troubles
First Meeting on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
(DENVER) This Wednesday, November 15, 2006, at 3:00 p.m., Mayor John Hickenlooper and City Council President Michael Hancock will convene the short-term, action-oriented investigative panel announced last week to quickly analyze Denver’s election problems and develop actionable solutions that are expected to form the foundation of a proposed charter reform amendment. The hour-and-a-half meeting will take place in the Mayor’s Office (City and County Building, 1437 Bannock, Suite 350), and will be the first of five weekly meetings for the panel. This quick timeline will provide ample time for City Council to consider any Charter change recommendations for the May 2007 municipal ballot.
The broad-based panel of community leaders will review feedback and hear testimony from groups affected by or with perspective on the November 7 election including technology experts, FairVote Colorado, the disabled community, and the political parties. Summaries of feedback from election judges and voters will be provided to the panel, whose members will also have the opportunity to hear public input at City Council’s December 2, 2006, public hearing on the election.
More details on the investigative panel’s meeting schedule are included below.
The investigative panel will be composed of the following individuals:
· John Hickenlooper, Mayor, City and County of Denver
· Michael Hancock, President, Denver City Council
· Dr. Paul Burleson, President, Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance
· Scott Doyle, Clerk and Recorder, Larimer County
· Hubert Farbes, Attorney/Shareholder, Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber; Former CO Asst. Atty. General
· Jenny Flanagan, Executive Director, Colorado Common Cause
· Dennis Gallagher, Auditor, City and County of Denver (invited, participation not yet confirmed)
· Dusti Gurule, Director, Latina Initiative
· Rosemary Marshall, Colorado State Representative, House District 8
· Richard Notebaert, Chairman and CEO, Qwest
· Ralph Peterson, Chairman and CEO, CH2M Hill
· Dan Ritchie, Chancellor Emeritus, University of Denver
· Rosemary Rodriguez, Denver City Councilwoman, District #3; Former Denver Clerk & Recorder
· Paula Sandoval, Colorado State Senator, Senate District 34
· Sandra Shreve, President, League of Women Voters of Denver
“From the Charter-mandated governance of the Election Commission to the processes by which they conduct elections to the technology itself - all options are on the table; nothing is sacred,” said Hickenlooper, when he announced the panel last week. “The goal of this group is to evaluate the disconnection between the City’s intentions, our fully expressed expectations and the unacceptable outcomes. We must remove politics from the equation, probe deeply and act quickly.”
By City Charter, the Denver Election Commission is an independent agency over which the Mayor and City Council have no direct control or authority. Currently, two of the three Election Commissioners are independently elected by Denver voters. Together with the Clerk and Recorder, they hire and manage the DEC’s Executive Director.
"While the Mayor, City Council and the community at-large agree that change is necessary, we want to ensure that any proposed reforms fully address all electoral needs without unintended consequences that do more harm than good,” said Council President and Panel Co-Chair Hancock. “This process will provide vital information on which to build reform efforts, and the public airing of information will help to restore public trust in our electoral systems."
Investigative Panel on Elections Meeting Schedule
Wednesday, November 15th - Establish Context/Governance Assessment: Mayor’s Office
· Introductions, overview of panel’s specific goals and objectives of the panel
· Overview of current election governance/structure in Denver and history of Denver election process
· Review of best practices and process alternatives that comply with legal and regulatory guidance
· Discussion of governance alternatives
MEETING TWO - Election Process and Issues: Location TBD
· Overview of 11/06 election planning, systems, processes, technology, etc.
· Detailed overview of problems that occurred
MEETING THREE – Discussion of Critical Failures: Location TBD
· Technology issues: software, servers, voting machines, counting machines
· Process issues: capacity, participation, check-in, absentee ballots
· Assessment of potential causes for critical failures and needed changes
MEETING FOUR – Discussion of Possible Changes: Location TBD
· Management/Staffing – qualifications, compensations, staffing levels, poll workers
· Leveraging City’s technology expertise
· Elections Process – vote centers vs. precincts vs. mail, etc.
MEETING FIVE – Development of Final Recommendations: Location TBD
# # #