Sunday, June 11, 2006

Denver Election Office Loses Voter Information

Personal Information On 150,000 Missing

**yet more missing some point you have to call bull**** on all of this, don't you?**

(AP) DENVER Records with Social Security numbers, addresses and other personal information on more than 150,000 people are missing at city election offices, and officials are trying to determine if the files were lost, moved or stolen.

The Denver Election Commission is also trying to figure out why officials didn't learn the records were missing until June 1, even they are believed to have disappeared nearly four months earlier.

"We will get to the bottom of it," commission spokesman Alton Dillard told the Rocky Mountain News in Saturday's editions. He said police have not been called in.

The microfilmed voter registration files from 1989 to 1998 were in a 500-pound cabinet that disappeared when the commission moved to new offices in February.

Officials said they first learned of it on June 1 from City Councilwoman Judy Montero, who found out about it from an Internet blog the day before.

Dillard said election staffers are scouring the commission's new and old offices and its warehouse to find the cabinet or see whether the microfilm had been moved to other cabinets. He said employees of the moving company, which was bonded, are also being questioned.

Also missing was a box with cards signed by voters who cast early ballots. The cards contain names, birth dates, addresses, signatures and partial Social Security numbers.

The missing files were first reported May 31 on the Web blog, run by Lisa Jones, a former temporary worker at the election commission.

Jones said she believes commission officials knew of the lost files by April.

Dillard said top officials of the commission are trying to determine whether lower-ranking staff knew about the situation before last week.

The disappearance of the files was the latest in a string of gaffes at the election commission. Last fall, it had to re-mail a voters' guide at a cost of $43,000 because of a clerical error in the first mailing. City Council members criticized the agency's 2006 budget proposal because it requested money for individual polling places when the election commission was planning to use a smaller number of consolidated voting centers.

City Councilman Doug Linkhart said the disappearance of the records "is not really surprising because the incompetence over there has been really consistent."

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