Jefferson County 2015 CORA Request for ballots

Date: 10/14/2015 2:57 PM

This is a copy to Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder – original by online submission.

Dear Clerk and Recorder or other records custodian if applicable:

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

Jefferson County website:

  • Records Requests


    Jefferson County strives to be as open and transparent as possible and is including more and more records and documents on the website as is possible. Citizens are encouraged to look on our website or ask for the records before submitting a formal open records request because the records may be obtained through a quick search or with a simple phone call or email.

    What type of records are you looking for?

    Please contact the Courts directly if you are looking for:

    • Divorce Decrees
    • Court Case Documents
    • Ticket Information


    Please contact the Sheriff’s Office directly if you are looking for:


    Please contact Public Health directly if you are looking for:

    • Vital Records (birth and death certificates)
    • Health Inspection Reports
    • Immunization Records


    Please contact the Recording Office directly if you are looking for:


    Please see our Open Jeffco webpages if you are looking for:


    Search our Site

    Before making a formal CORA request, we suggest that you search our website – you may find what you need. You can use the search box in the upper right corner of each page to easily find information on our site. 


    If you did not find what you need and must make a formal CORA request

    The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) safeguards every citizen’s right to access government records. Technology improvements continue to make it easier to provide citizens with the information they seek. County departments are adding documents and records to the website every day.

    With some state statute exceptions, almost all county records are public records; however, in some cases, the records may not be available in the format requested or the record must be withheld by statute. To access those records, a formal open records request should be filed under the Colorado Open Records Act. But please, take a look online or make a phone call first if possible. 

    What should be included in the request?

    Formal open records requests must be in writing and include:

    • The name of the person seeking the records
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Mailing address
    • Information requested – please be as specific as possible.



    When making a formal CORA request, there may be fees attached for a paper copy of any public county record. To see the fees as pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws, please see our county policy on open records on the County Manager’s Policy and Procedures page. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page, within the County Operations section, for the “Open Records Policy” document.


    Making an Open Records request

    Formal requests for open records should be sent to Jefferson County via one of the following:

    Online Form – below (preferred) 

    U.S. Postal Mail:
    Public Information Office
    Kathryn Heider
    100 Jefferson County Pkwy.
    Golden, CO 80419

    Fax: 303-271-8232





Title: Administrative Policy
Open Records
Policy No.
Part 1, County Administration
Chapter 3, Operations
Section 3
Effective Date
October 25, 2011
Policy Custodian
County Manager
Adoption/Revision Date
October 25, 2011/November 2014
Adopting Resolution(s): CC11-400
References (Statutes /Resos/Policies): 24-72-201 et. seq.; CC04-240, CC05-069, CC07- 487
Purpose: To provide public records.
Policy: Open Records
A. Applicability
1. This policy applies to all requests for public county records, including those made pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws.
2. This policy applies to all Board of County Commissioner Departments and Divisions.
B. Requests for Public Records under the Colorado Open Records Law.
1. Requests for public records made pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws must be submitted in writing and must be specific as to the records sought.
2. Response
The County will respond to requests made pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws within 3 working days whenever possible. If the request is voluminous or extenuating circumstances apply, the custodian of the records will notify the requester that delivery may be delayed.
C. Fees
1. Copies
a. The fee for a paper copy of any public county record, including copies requested pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws shall be as follows:
8.5” by 11”
First five pages free
25¢ for each page after the first five pages
11” by 17”
25¢ for each page
Greater than 11” by 17”
Fee not to exceed the actual cost of reproduction
b. The fee for an electronic copy of any public county record, including copies requested pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws shall be as follows:
If the record exists in electronic format
$1 for a CD (if required) + Data Compilation time
If the record had to be scanned
$1 for a CD (if required) + Data Compilation time
If the record had to be printed and then scanned
$1 for a CD (if required) + Data Compilation time + paper copy fee
2. Data Manipulation
a. Any Division may set a fee for reports, maps, or products that are produced through the manipulation of data for the benefit of the customer.
b. The County may refuse any request requiring data manipulation on the basis that the Colorado Open Records Act does not require manipulation.
3. Data Compilation
a. If the request will take more than an hour to fulfill, the fee for compiling requested information, including information requested pursuant to the Colorado Open Records laws shall be as follows:
Board of County Commissioner Department or Division
One hour or less
More than an hour
$25 per hour
Elected Official or Appointed Official
As determined by Elected or Appointed Official or Statute
b. The Public Information Officers time may not be included in the Data Compilation cost.
c. The requester must be provided a cost estimate, and may be requested to pay all or a portion, prior to compiling the information.
D. Research by Requester
Independent research by the requesting party is allowed provided that:
a. The records sets to be researched do not include privileged documents or documents not otherwise subject to public disclosure;
b. The research is supervised to avoid loss or damage to records. Staff time spent on supervision shall apply as listed in the Data Compilation section of this Policy;
c. The research does not unduly disrupt the day-to-day activities of the organization; and
d. The records/documents being researched are returned to the files in the same order as when they were removed.