About 2,800 voters in Pueblo have already cast ballots in the recall election over three days of early voting, but in Colorado Springs polls have yet to open. It’s a contrast that has raised eyebrows at more than one advocacy group for public engagement and voting rights. “It’s a huge concern for us,” said Elena Nunez, executive director of Colorado Common Cause. “It’s the first time in many, many years voters won’t be able to get mail ballots and that’s created a lot of confusion and uncertainty about where people can vote.” Nunez said giving voters more chances to access the ballot is particularly important given the uncertainty leading up to the recall elections. Several court rulings have changed how the election would be handled – causing several iterations of election rules. Voters in Pueblo and Colorado Springs will decide on Sept. 10 whether to recall their state senators for gun legislation passed during the 2013 legislative session. Only residents within the districts of Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo get to vote.
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a Republican, says every voter within Morse’s Senate District 11 is within a seven-minute drive of four polling centers that will be open for four days of early voting, including nine hours on Saturday.
“We did a mailing to all voters in Senate District 11 urging them to vote on the Thursday and Friday of this week,” Williams said. “If people wait until the last day, there is always the possibility of long lines.”
Williams also sent out an e-mail outlining the election process and asking for feedback. He received no response.
Nunez said long lines can disenfranchise voters.
“If they can’t take the time to wait in line there’s the possibility they will leave the polls without casting a ballot,” she said. “It should never be difficult to vote.”