November 1 2004, 2:29 PM
Colorado's election chief, Secretary of State Donetta Davidson, has flown to Arizona to be with her brother who is in a coma following a motorcycle accident on Saturday. She will not be here Election Day. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs and election officers Bill Compton and Drew Durham will stand in for her. If there is a crisis, Governor Owens has made a state plane available to fly her back. The subbing officials have prior election service. Both political parties say Ms. Davidson's absence shouldn't make a difference. As Ms. Davidson says,
We have good lawyers standing by as well, to deal with any legal challenges that may arise. Were ready to go, and we await the results like millions of Coloradans," she said.She's probably right. And emergencies happen, no one is at fault, least of all her. But it's still a good idea to take note of problems that cropped up so far:
There have been lawsuits to challenge new election rules. There have been charges of partisan voter intimidation, and counter charges that those charges amounted to a politically-motivated smear campaign. Some county clerks are still struggling to consolidate double-listed voters on their rolls. Election judges have received confused advice about the voting rights of convicted felons. The aura of uncertainty has left Coloradans unsure if they will be turned away from the polls, or if their votes will count.Don't forget to ask for a provisional ballot if you are turned away or have trouble voting at your precinct. Make sure you go to the right precinct. Bring your ID. If your name is not on the list, suggest alternate spellings. And hope for the best.