DENVER (NewsNation Now) — Starting Monday, citizens can watch live 24-hour camera footage from the room where Denver ballots are received and counted at Denvervotes.org. The camera won’t be close enough to identify individual ballots or disclose voter information.
Watching people sort and stuff reams of paper might not make for the most compelling viewing.
Its purpose is to show the public exactly what happens when their ballots arrive. And because the coronavirus pandemic is forcing many to vote by mail or at drop boxes, the video stream is one way of increasing trust in the system, said Alton Dillard, spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division.
“Given the pandemic and the limitations on in-person tours of our ballot processing rooms, we wanted to provide some transparency into the process,” Dillard said.
Denver borrowed the idea from the King County Elections division in Seattle, which has done live webcasts of its ballot processing rooms since 2012. Like Colorado, Washington is a mail ballot state. Others taking the video route include Yuma county in Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco in California.
Mail-in voting began in Colorado in 2013. Voters can also drop their ballots at drop boxes or vote in person. This year, Colorado has increased the number of drop boxes and expanded a tracking system in which voters can receive text and email notifications that their ballots have been received and counted.
The video will be available by 10 a.m. on Monday and by visiting Denvervotes.org, clicking on “Voter Information” and then the “Learn More About Mail Ballots” tab.
Reporting by Patty Nieberg from The Associated Press. AP contributed to this report.