CORA Request to Adams County for Unvoted and Voted Ballots

CORA request for ballot pdfs to Adams County records custodian
 Wed, 14 Oct 2015 14:46:24 -0600
 To  Stan Martin, Adams County Clerk and Recorder
 (Clear Ballot Group voting system)

Dear Clerk and Recorder or other records custodian if applicable:

Stan, thanks for your  extra efforts at transparency.

Your county is piloting a new voting system in the November 2015 Coordinated Election.  This email serves as a Colorado Open Records Request for electronic copies of the original pdfs (or if not pdf, the applicable graphic source format) used to print unvoted paper ballots for your election.  This request encompasses ballots for all precincts, styles, voting methods (in-person, by mail/drop-off, emergency, UOCAVA, provisional, replacement) and any others such as specially printed test ballots but only if they in any way have different content. I do not request duplicate sets of pdfs used for e.g. replacement and mail if they are identical. Note however that ballot on demand source files may be different and if so, I am including them in my request.
 Note that this is not a request for a pdf created from a scan of the paper form of the ballot - this is for the source file used to create the ballots. Please advise me if the vendor requires a multipage pdf with a page for each instance of printed ballot or for any other reason the data capacity of my records request is too large for email fulfillment.

Although I am not required to explain my intention, I find it beneficial and good manners to do so.  I will be using the pdfs of the unvoted ballots as part of a technical process to independently audit the election and perform an evaluation of the voting system  using scans produced by the voting system to be obtained under CORA after certification as referred to below. Please discuss with me any concerns you have over the possibility that these pdfs could be used to create ballots that would be returned in your election or any other similar concerns that would present obstacles to fulfillment. I am prepared to take create an assurance that unexpected ballots will not result including by delaying the fulfillment of the request until Nov. 4.

This email also serves as a presumably helpful advance notice of my intention to CORA request 1) electronic scans produced by the voting equipment used in the pilot election of all the tabulated ballots returned in the 2015 Coordinated election  as soon as C.R.S. 24-72-205.5 allows. I will also be requesting 2) the "cast vote records" or other record of vote patterns recorded per ballot by the voting system. I will also be asking for 3) a newly created electronic color scan copy of each ballot that was duplicated prior to scanning for tabulation.

For requests 1) and 2) these files should be produced in the format and organization defined by the voting system. Only the fulfillment of request 3) will be the result of a scan not performed originally for tabulation. For all three requests I request no reformatting be done other than minimal redaction by adding a black area to an otherwise original graphic file to cover the privacy impinging mark(s) if any. I also ask that each instance of redaction be logged in a note to accompany the records fulfillment.   Note that with this advance notice I hope that you will find a way to most efficiently and inexpensively prepare electronic file copies of the ballots for fulfillment per C.R.S. 24-72-205.5.

That law does have a requirement for potential redaction of identifying marks. I am hoping you will make plans for accomplishing any research regarding identifying marks in the most efficient manner such as during election judge review of the incoming ballots and will discuss any associated costs with me as soon as possible. I am ready to discuss means to use tools in C.R.S. 24-72-205.5 to avoid privacy problems with styles that result in instances of less than 10 alike in the election.

Please respond with an estimate of the amount of any fees that  might be charged in the fulfillment of this future request.

If my request or any portion of it (including the prospective future request) will be denied or fulfilled only in part, please advise and cite the applicable law. If fulfillment will be delayed for any reason, please explain.

Thank you very much.

Harvie Branscomb

Adams County website:

 Revised July 15, 2014
 Page 1 of 4
 Public Records
 Adams County is committed to the principle of open and accessible government. As such, we commit to fulfill every request for public records as efficiently and expeditiously as possible and within the requirements established by the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. §24-72-201 et seq. (“CORA”).
 The following procedures are intended to facilitate requests for public records responsibly and efficiently, to maintain the integrity of the County’s records, and to ensure the effective functioning of County departments. This policy is subject to interpretation by the Adams County Attorney’s Office. Requests for comment or for information not contained within existing County records should be directed to the Adams County Office of Public Information.
 This policy does not apply to the following elected Adams County offices, unless specifically
 adopted by that office: Assessor, Clerk and Recorder, Coroner, District Attorney, Public Trustee,
 Sheriff, Surveyor, and Treasurer. Records requests for these offices must be sent directly to them. Contact information for these offices is available on the Adams County website.
 Requests for Public Records
 Records requests must be directed to the designated custodian of records for the particular County department who holds the records. (A list of contact information for each department is located on the County’s website). The County Attorney’s Office may also accept open records requests, which will then be forwarded to the appropriate records custodian. General emails to the County or inquiries on the County’s website or social media sites will not be treated as open records requests pursuant to CORA. When practicable, open records requests should be submitted in writing on the County’s records request form, which is available on the County’s website.
 Prior to submitting a records request, please check the County’s website to determine whether the records sought are already available online.
 Revised July 15, 2014
 Page 2 of 4
 Requests for Public Records (continued)
 All requests must contain the following information:
  The name and preferred contact information for the requesting party.
  A description of the records sought. (Please describe as specifically as possible, including applicable date ranges and source of information if known).
  Preferred method of delivery. (Email, regular mail, in-person inspection, etc.).
 Responses to Requests
 The records custodian for each department is responsible for responding to the requesting party in a timely manner. The requesting party will be notified if the requested documents are not available or if the records are not covered by CORA.
 If review of original documents is requested, the records custodian may impose certain procedures to protect the integrity of the public record, including supervision by a County employee within the area where the records are stored and/or maintained. The records custodian may also establish a designated area or schedule for a particular time of day so as to not unduly disrupt the day-to-day activities of that specific office or department.
 Requests received after the close of business will be considered to be received on the next business day.
 The County will comply with the reasonable response timelines set forth in CORA. Every attempt will be made to fulfill open records requests within three (3) working days. If the request cannot be filled within three working days, the requestor will receive notice from the records custodian that additional time, up to seven (7) working days, will be necessary.
 Fees Charged
 Adams County seeks to meet public information requests in the most economical fashion possible. The fees charged by Adams County departments will be consistent with the provisions of CORA.
 Standard fees for records requests include copy charges, research and retrieval time, and actual costs associated with fulfilling the request. Research and retrieval time may include, but is not limited to: actual costs involved in the gathering of documents, costs associated with specialized IT support, and staff time required to perform research, locate, retrieve, and review records, and create or run records in electronic or digital format. The nature of the request dictates the potential fees and costs incurred.
 Pursuant to C.R.S. §24-72-205(6), effective July 1, 2014, there is no charge for the first hour of time for research and retrieval of records.
 Revised July 15, 2014
 Page 3 of 4
 Fees Charged (continued)
 8.5” x 11”
 25¢ per page
 11” x 17”
 25¢ per page
 Greater than 11” x 17”
 Actual cost of reproduction + Research and retrieval time
 Electronic Copies on CD
 If the record exists in electronic format
 $2 per CD + Research and retrieval time
 If the record has to be scanned
 $2 per CD + Research and retrieval time
 If the record has to be printed and scanned
 $2 per CD + Research and retrieval time + paper copy fee
 BOCC Study Sessions or other audio recordings
 $2 per CD + Research and retrieval time
 PDF Records Sent Via Email
 If the record exists in electronic format
 Research and retrieval time
 If the record has to be scanned to PDF
 Research and retrieval time
 If the record has to be printed and scanned to PDF
 Research and retrieval time + paper copy fee
 Research and retrieval
 One hour or less
 More than one hour
 $30 per hour
 Mailing Expenses
 Mailing Expenses
 Actual Cost
 Revised July 15, 2014
 Page 4 of 4
 If the fulfillment of a request is likely to incur fees in excess of $30.00, the records custodian will attempt to provide the requesting party with an estimate of the likely fees to be generated in fulfilling the request. The County may require payment of the estimated fees prior to any staff time being expended on responding to the request. Requesting parties will be responsible for any actual costs incurred in excess of the deposit and will be reimbursed for any estimated costs that are not actually incurred.
 Requests that require IT staff to search email or other electronic records will require a minimum deposit of $100 when IT estimates that the search will take longer than five hours of staff time.

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