Gessler directs counties to stop using unique ballot numbers

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Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler adopted an emergency rule to prevent counties from printing ballots with unique numbers and barcodes, which may link voters to their ballots.


“Following a recent example of credible evidence in Chaffee County, we proactively want to prevent this from happening again and safeguard against linking voters to their ballots,” Gessler said. “My aim is protecting Colorado elections and this practice ends today.”


This rulemaking announcement follows examples in Eagle and Chaffee counties where election watchdogs were able to tie these unique ballot numbers to specific voters. The problem appears isolated to the counties currently using the Hart voting system. The new rule prevents distinguishing numbers and barcodes.


The Secretary of State’s order and rule take effect immediately.