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Concerned about election integrity? El Paso County has a new monitoring tool for upcoming elections

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-12 15:05:33-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office is installing new technologies in efforts to be more transparent with voters.

The official voting ballot boxes in El Paso County are monitored 24 hours a day. This election season, the camera's are being updated. Starting on Tuesday, people will have easy access to the footage taken on the ballot boxes surveillance cameras.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, Steve Schleiker, said they have installed new cameras and technology systems at all 39 ballot boxes in El Paso County. Schleiker said the new security cameras allow people to watch ballot boxes in real time from the comfort of their own home.

People can watch one or all 39 live streams on theEl Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Website. Schleiker said he wants to be more transparent with voters about the election process. He said voters can watch the livestream and see all rules and laws are being followed.

"To me it adds a lot of transparency to the election process,” Schleiker said. "People should be able to sit there and take a look at that footage. They should be able to sit at home and be able to look at their ballot box," Schleiker said.

One resident, Raedell Bustamante-Vaughn-Bey, said voting is important and she likes the idea of monitoring the ballot boxes.

"I think that is pretty cool because you need to know what people are doing, if they are being honest or if they are really voting," Bustamante-Vaughn-Bey said.

This new technology also alerts the clerk's office if the camera's run out of power, or stop working. This is a change from their previous system.

"We get those alerts via email via text, where previously we did not get anything. We have no idea, these cameras were down. It would take a lot of staff time,” Schleiker said.

In years past, ballot box cameras could only be installed in places that had access to electricity, but with the new cameras, that is no longer the case.

"The new camera system is operating off of solar," Schleiker said.

Schleiker said solar power will allow them to implement more ballot boxes in rural parts of the county.

"We could sit down and take a look here. Do we put one down here on Highway 115 or out here on the pass," Schleiker said.

Schleiker said the new cameras and advancements are more reliable. He hopes the livestream establishes more public trust within the election process.

"Now folks, for full transparency, can sit there and go, miss information that is spread out there that doesn't happen in El Paso County," Schleiker said.

Many of the cameras will be placed behind the ballot boxes. This allows people to view all activity surrounding the boxes. The El Paso County Clerk will begin sending out ballots for the November election on Monday and the live stream for the ballot box cameras will be available online starting on Tuesday.

2023 Coordinated Election: What's on the ballot and where to vote in El Paso County

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