Boulder City Council to discuss online petitioning system
By Deborah Swearingen. Originally published in the Daily Camera on February 1, 2021.
"Boulder City Council will hear from staff on Tuesday regarding the issues with Boulder Direct Democracy Online, the city’s recently launched online petitioning system.
In order to prioritize a discussion with staff about the new system, which some have struggled to use, Mayor Sam Weaver during the Monday morning Council Agenda Committee suggested postponing the scheduled demonstration of the city’s new website, which Boulder has been testing since October.
Staff initially planned to host a public forum some time this week to discuss the new system, but Boulder communications manager Shannon Aulabaugh said they now will wait to see what direction Council provides after Tuesday’s conversation.
The city committed to having the system available as soon as the first campaign could begin collecting signatures. If its revised ballot language is approved, the Bedrooms Are For People campaign will be able to begin collecting signatures this week.
According to Aulabaugh, most of the issues, including one where people did not receive a confirmation code via phone call or text message and therefore could not go through the two-factor authentication process, have been resolved. She said the system was thoroughly tested before the preview went out on Jan. 22, but the preview gave the community a chance to test the system. A more diverse testing group helped identify more problems that needed attention, she said.
One of the most commonly experienced problems occurs when someone has an 'unlisted' phone number on their voter registration, and Aulabaugh said it was an unexpected one for the city staff."