Gov. John Hickenlooper wants guidance from the Colorado Supreme Court on how to count votes in two legislative recall elections, asking whether people have to answer “yes” or “no” first on whether they support the recalls to have their votes for a successor validated. The question is important because if it’s not resolved a legal challenge could then require a recount or even invalidate the entire election, according to a filing late Friday from Attorney General John Suthers on behalf of the Democratic governor. “A successful challenge would, at a minimum, require a recount, although a direr outcome — such as the invalidation of the entire election based on the distribution of faulty ballots — cannot be ruled out,” the court filing said.
Two Democratic state senators — Angela Giron and Senate President John Morse — face recall elections Sept. 10 over their support for new gun restrictions, including limits on the size of ammunition magazines and an expansion of background checks to include online and private firearm sales.
The filing said officials recently learned of a state constitutional requirement that says voters must first vote on the recall before voting for a candidate. But that may violate U.S. Constitution rights to vote and freedom of expression, according to the filing.
The court document said a “virtually identical provision” of California election law was declared unconstitutional in 2003, during the recall of former Gov. Gray Davis.