'It's about doing community service'

Arapahoe County Elections Facility gives tour as votes arrive

Posted 11/5/18

Dozens of area residents stood in front of a machine that spit out mail ballots in rapid fire in just one step of the process Arapahoe County uses to count votes. Matt Crane, Arapahoe County clerk …

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'It's about doing community service'

Arapahoe County Elections Facility gives tour as votes arrive

Posted

Dozens of area residents stood in front of a machine that spit out mail ballots in rapid fire in just one step of the process Arapahoe County uses to count votes.

Matt Crane, Arapahoe County clerk and recorder, led the crowd on a Nov. 1 tour through the county's Elections Facility at 5251 S. Federal Blvd. in Littleton, where election workers were already deep into processing received mail ballots for the Nov. 6 election.

“I started doing it because it fascinated me how much it takes to get a ballot through the process,” said Kathleen Mendelson, 68, a Denver resident who has helped process ballots for a few years.

The journey for a ballot is long: Vehicles pick up ballots and bring them to the facility, where they're sorted and weighed, put through the Agilis ballot-sorting machine where signatures are captured, and examined by workers at tables. Workers also verify signatures independently by comparing them to signatures on file on computer screens. Eventually, a tabulation machine reads the ballots and counts results.

The county's process as a whole involves many computerized steps, and Crane answered questions for the crowd as it watched the Agilis machine shoot out ballots into a row of stacks for collection.

Bob Lopez, a monitor who watched over a processing room, has helped with elections processes for about a decade.

“I like working with these people,” said Lopez, a Centennial resident. “It's not about the money — it's about doing community service.”

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