State Could See Mail-In Ballots in 2008 Election

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State Representative Bernie Buescher says if Mesa County's voting machines don't get recertified soon, we could be looking at using mail-in ballots for the 2008 election.

Buescher met with Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, Mesa County Clerk Janice Rich, and several other county clerks on Friday.

He says the clerks expressed their frustrations with Coffman's decision to decertify 70 percent of the state's voting equipment, and explained the difficulties in meeting Coffman's order.

Rich says if Mesa County were to have to purchase a new system, it would cost taxpayers at least five million dollars.

Although he hopes the situation is resolved soon, Buescher says it's a very real possibility that the Colorado Legislature will have to look at using all mail-in ballots for the next major election.

"We do not want to be like Florida eight years ago and on the front page of a newspaper with a contested election that isn't decided because we haven't done our job in certifying equipment," said Buescher.

Buescher says he's pleased with the outcome of Friday's meeting, and that he and other legislators will make sure Coffman continues to work directly with the county clerks in helping them retest their machines

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