As mentioned earlier, the Colorado state Senate President John Morse recall runs into a unique provision (at least for recall states) that could allow the Democrats to keep the Morse seat without a recall. However, the provision requires some explanation: The trick would only works if Morse resigns before the recall is certified to go to the ballot, and a stray sentence might limit it even further. Here’s how it appears to work. Colorado’s Constitution (Article V section 2) requires that any state legislative vacancy be filled by a “member of the same political party…” Colorado fills its vacant state legislate seats by appointment by the county committee, not by special election. Therefore, if there is a resignation, a Democrat must be selected to fill the seat. But timing the resignation is critical.
The recall provision has a separate provision that allows an official to resign within five days after the recall has been certified (the legal term is: sufficiency of the recall petition shall have been sustained). This is a standard provision in recalls throughout the country. It is designed to allow the candidate to get out of the race. We see resignations happen occasionally, though most recall resignations occur before they get to the submission stage. If the official resigns after five days from the sufficiency finding, the recall goes forward and the vacancy spot-filler is ousted. For Morse, that means he likely has over a month to decide to resign (15 days for certification, 15 days to protest five days after certification).