Elbert County relaxes ID policy for obtaining open records

Colorado Community Media: County commissioners have unanimously voted to enact a revised version of Elbert County’s open records policy, eliminating an identification rule for many requests.

The previous policy mandated all requests for public records be accompanied by a valid ID, such as a driver’s license, for the person making the request. The revised policy, approved April 10, has removed that mandate and will only require identification for records that are deemed “confidential” under state statute or that may only be provided to a “person in interest” as defined by statute.

The Colorado Open Records Act, known as CORA, sets forth the rules governing which records are considered public, which may be prohibited from disclosure and how members of the public can obtain copies of records. Several towns, cities and counties across Colorado have denied the release of records in the past without a valid form of identification, which has drawn criticism from members of the media and citizens.

“When we last updated the county open records policy, we adopted a requirement for submission of an ID for all records,” County Commissioner Chris Richardson said. “Statute generally requires a response time within three days of a request and we felt that it was most efficient to have ID available so any questions regarding appropriateness of records release could be answered immediately versus having to go back to the requestor for additional information.”

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