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Video Spurs Voter Registration Flap

The Gazette

A shaky YouTube video of a voter registration effort outside a
Colorado Springs grocery store led the county's elections boss to
clarify Sunday that campaign volunteers aren’t on the government
payroll.

The incident caught on video shows an encounter between a
patron and a young female volunteer who was apparently working to make
sure voters backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made it
to the polls. The problem: The young woman, after some head-scratching, says her work to boost the GOP turnout is funded by the county clerk.

Neither the volunteer on the recording nor the patron could be
tracked down Sunday. But some who saw the video were outraged, demanding
an investigation of County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a
Republican.

Williams said the woman, though, doesn’t work for his
office, which oversees local elections and voter registration. Instead,
he said, she’s probably one of the scores of volunteers who are hitting
the streets for both political parties to push voter registration ahead
of the Nov. 6 election. The last day for register to vote for the
election is Oct. 9.

“The voter registration drives that the Romney and the Obama campaigns are both doing are not run by our office,” Williams said.

The efforts are legal, Williams said.

The
confusion, for volunteers and would-be voters, is that while parties
are pushing for the registrations, the paperwork that’s filled out winds
up in the Clerk’s Office to be certified, Williams said.

He thinks that’s why the unidentified volunteer on the video said she was working for the county clerk.

“She’s
not our employee and we’re not hiring her,” Williams said. “We will
gladly take the registrations from both of the parties, though, and
ensure they are entered accurately.”

The implication of having
partisan volunteers going around calling themselves county workers,
though, bothered Bryan Fussell of Colorado Springs so much that he sent
the video he had found on YouTube to The Gazette.

“It was very alarming,” he said after learning that the woman wasn’t working for Williams.

Williams could expect similar headaches in the days ahead.

The push to register voters ahead of the Oct. 9 deadline in El Paso County is expected to be massive for both sides.

Romney and President Barack Obama are virtually deadlocked in statewide polls, making Colorado one of few that remains up for grabs with seven weeks left to campaign.

And
El Paso County will play a huge role in the statewide outcome. Long
known as the state’s deepest pool of Republican voters, the county
contains a pool of Democrats big enough to sway a statewide race if
turnout is high.

Williams said one good way for people to sign up
for a ballot to have their say is on the Internet: Citizens with
Colorado ID cards can register to vote at GoVoteColorado.com.
Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/voter-144994-youtube-registration.html#ixzz27LqnAV1o

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Added: Sep-23-2012 
By: jkeen03
In:
Politics
Tags: romney, obama, republican, democrat, el paso, safeway
Marked as: featured
Views: 42871 | Comments: 998 | Votes: 11 | Favorites: 8 | Shared: 350 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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