Colorado

Articles about voting issues in Colorado.

Colorado: Federal judge blocks part of Colorado’s Amendment 71; secretary of state plans appeal | Denver7

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a key part of Colorado’s voter-approved Amendment 71, which made it more difficult for people seeking to get a measure on the statewide ballot for a vote. U.S. District Court of Colorado Judge William J. Martinez wrote in the order that parts of the “raise the bar” amendment, which was approved by 55 percent of Colorado voters in 2016, was unconstitutional. The portion deemed to be unconstitutional required people hoping to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to get signatures from at least 2 percent of the total number of registered voters in each of the state’s 35 Senate districts.

Full Article: Federal judge blocks part of Colorado's Amendment 71; secretary of state plans appeal - Denver7 TheDenverChannel.com.

Colorado: State overhauled how candidates qualify for ballot after fraud stained 2016 election | The Denver Post

Inside a secure, nondescript office building in Pueblo, a team of state officials spends 17 hours a day combing through voter data as part of a new effort to prevent election fraud. The nerve center is responsible for verifying voter signatures that political candidates collect to qualify for the 2018 ballot in Colorado — a process corrupted by forgery and felony charges two years ago. “This is all new,” said Secretary of State Wayne Williams, as he gave The Denver Post an exclusive tour of the facility. In prior elections, he continued, “there was zero checking done on the signature. This is the first year we’ve ever checked the signature component.”

Full Article: Colorado overhauled how candidates qualify for ballot after fraud stained 2016 election.

Colorado: First year of open, mail-in primaries will be an unprecedented experiment with unclear implications | Summit Daily

Colorado will elect a new governor in November, and at least a dozen candidates are currently in the running on both the Republican and Democratic sides. This year, unaffiliated voters have reason to take early notice in the race to replace term-limited Governor John Hickenlooper — and not just because of the dizzying number of candidates. Thanks to an open primaries ballot measure passed in 2016, voters who aren’t registered to either major party will able to help choose nominees for the first time in June. Proponents of the measure argued that opening up primaries to independents could give a boost to more moderate candidates and wrest some control from the hardcore partisans who cast a disproportionate number of primary votes.

Full Article: Colorado’s first year of open, mail-in primaries will be an unprecedented experiment with unclear implications | SummitDaily.com.

Colorado: Former Colorado GOP chairman sentenced for voter fraud | CBS

The former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party was sentenced to four years of probation and 300 hours of community service for voter fraud. Steve Curtis blamed a “major diabetic episode” for causing him to vote his ex-wife’s absentee ballot in October 2016. Curtis, 57, told District Judge Julie Hoskins Friday it was “a customary thing” for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and he didn’t know it was illegal, but he said he didn’t remember doing it. In October of 2016, Kelly Curtis called the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office to obtain her mail-in ballot. She was told she had already voted, CBS Denver reports. 

Full Article: Former Colorado GOP chairman sentenced for voter fraud - CBS News.

Colorado: Groups sign on to proposals to revamp redistricting in Colorado | The Journal

A bipartisan organization pushing ballot measures to change the way Colorado draws its legislative and congressional boundaries announced the support Monday of a number of groups representing rural, minority, business and civic reform interests. Fair Districts Colorado, a group chaired by Kent Thiry, the CEO of kidney dialysis giant DaVita Inc., said it now has the backing of Progressive 15 and Action 22, associations representing 37 counties in northeastern and southeastern Colorado, respectively; the African Leadership Group, an advocacy organization for African immigrants; Clean Slate Now, a group devoted to campaign finance reform; and Colorado Concern, an association of some of the state’s top business executives.

Full Article: Groups sign on to proposals to revamp redistricting in Colorado.

Colorado: Battle lines being drawn over how Colorado sets political boundaries | Colorado Springs Gazette

The battle is heating up over how Colorado draws its legislative and congressional boundaries. After failing to knock out a pair of proposed redistricting and reapportionment ballot measures in court, a rough coalition of mostly liberal and good-government groups filed competing ballot measures in late December and is vowing to take the choice before voters this fall – potentially a case of, if you can’t beat ’em in court, join ’em on the ballot. Backers of the original measures, meanwhile, say they welcome the tacit acknowledgment that the current system needs fixing and are offering to work out a plan with their rivals that “ends gerrymandering, protects communities of interest and promotes truly competitive elections.”

Full Article: Battle lines being drawn over how Colorado sets political boundaries | Colorado Springs Gazette, News.

Colorado: Former GOP chairman found guilty of voter fraud and forgery for signing ex-wife’s ballot | The Denver Post

Steve Curtis, a former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, faces up to three years in prison after being convicted Thursday of voter fraud and forgery for signing his ex-wife’s ballot during the 2016 election, prosecutors say. The 58-year-old, who also was a KLZ radio host, was charged in February after authorities say DNA evidence and handwriting analysis linked him to the ballot of his ex, Kelly Curtis.  The Weld County District Attorney’s Office says court testimony during Curtis’ trial revealed that Kelly Curtis had moved to Charleston, S.C., in December 2015. When she called the county’s clerk and recorder to get her mail-in ballot, she was told she had already voted.

Full Article: Steve Curtis, former Colorado GOP chairman, convicted of voter fraud.

Colorado: Pick a name, draw a card: How a peculiar Colorado law settled three tied elections this year | The Denver Post

With sleeves rolled up, Adams County Clerk Stan Martin turned his head to the side and reached blindly into a glass bowl to fish out the name of the person who will occupy the lone vacant seat on the Northglenn City Council. “The winner is … congratulations to Joyce Downing,” Martin declared, reading the name from the card he had plucked from the bowl. This seemingly archaic ceremony, held inside the Adams County commissioners’ hearing room Tuesday afternoon, is in keeping with the way tied elections for public office are settled in Colorado. This year, Northglenn had one of three candidate races statewide that resulted in a tie — even after a mandatory recount — and triggered the need to determine a winner “by lot,” as stipulated in state election law.

Full Article: Pick a name, draw a card: How a peculiar Colorado law settled three tied elections this year – The Denver Post.

Colorado: Former GOP Chair Who Admits Casting His Ex-Wife’s Absentee Ballot Says He Doesn’t Remember | Greeley Tribune

By his own admission on the witness stand Wednesday afternoon, October 2016 was a rough month for former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve Curtis. It was the month during which he is accused of committing voter fraud and forgery, after he filled out his ex-wife’s ballot and mailed it in. She had recently moved out of their Firestone home, and, at that time, she lived in Charleston, S.C. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison. Yet, Curtis said in court Wednesday, though he concluded he must have filled out the ballot and submitted it in an envelope with his ex-wife’s name on it, he had no memory of the incident for months. That’s because, he said, he was in the grips of a severe diabetic episode at the time. He’s lived with Type 1 diabetes for almost 30 years, he said, and it is a very debilitating condition. He has difficulty concentrating, he said, and difficulty sleeping. If he gets more than 90 minutes of sleep at one time in a night, he said, it’s a “miracle.”

Full Article: Diabetes, stroke and other health problems beset former GOP chairman accused of voter fraud, he says in Weld District Court | GreeleyTribune.com.

Colorado: Former GOP chairman accused of voter fraud blames diabetic episode in Weld District Court | Greeley Tribune

In the first day of testimony in Weld District Court on Tuesday, a former Colorado Republican Party chairman accused of committing voter fraud blamed a diabetic blackout for his filling out his ex-wife’s ballot during the 2016 election. Steve Curtis, 57, who from 1997-99 served as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, is charged with one count of voter fraud and one count of forgery after prosecutors say he filled out and mailed in the ballot of his ex-wife, Kelly Curtis, from his Firestone home in fall 2016. After a day of jury selection Monday, attorneys delivered their opening arguments in his trial at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, during which Curtis’ attorney, Christopher Gregory, told the jury Curtis has lived with Type 1 diabetes for about 30 years and he was prone to serious diabetic episodes. “He has a notoriously bad history of monitoring and controlling his blood sugar,” Gregory said.

Full Article: Former Colorado GOP chairman accused of voter fraud blames diabetic episode in Weld District Court | GreeleyTribune.com.

Colorado: Voter fraud trial underway for former GOP chairman | KDVR

Just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Steve Curtis told his radio listeners “Virtually every case of voter fraud, that I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats or do I not have the facts?” Now Curtis, the chairman of Colorado’s Republican party in the late 1990’s and a former talk show host for KLZ-560 AM, is on trial in a Weld County Courtroom, charged with forgery, a felony and election fraud, a misdemeanor. The 58-year-old is accused of forging his ex-wife’s signature on her 2016 mail-in ballot after the couple divorced and she moved to South Carolina. Kelly Curtis has been subpoenaed to testify.  She spoke with the Problem Solvers back in March of 2017, when Fox 31 first broke the story of ex-husband’s arrest. “To me it was demeaning and presumptuous and I had no idea what would go on in someone`s mind to cast my ballot for me illegally,” said Kelly.

Full Article: Voter fraud trial underway for former GOP chairman | FOX31 Denver.

Colorado: State first to complete new kind of election audit | Craig Daily Press

Colorado has become the first state in the country to complete a risk-limiting audit, or RLA, designed to catch mistakes when ballots are tabulated, and Moffat County was part of the successful test that garnered national interest. “It went really great — better than expected,” said Deputy Election Clerk Amanda Tomlinson. “The processes took over a year of preparation with the secretary of state and learning to use the RLA tool.” The RLA is a procedure that provides strong statistical evidence that an election outcome is correct and has a high probability of correcting an erroneous outcome. It requires humans to examine and verify more ballots in close races and fewer ballots in races with wide margins.

Full Article: Colorado, Moffat County first to complete new kind of election audit | CraigDailyPress.com.

Colorado: Risk-limiting election audit has been completed | Denver Post

Colorado has completed a first-of-its-kind statewide election audit, which drew attention from outside the state, with all participating counties passing. That means the so-called risk-limiting audit showed the state’s vote tabulating machines properly counted ballots from the election that ended earlier this month. The audit involved a manual recount of a sample of ballots from the more than 50 counties that had elections this year and compared them with how they were interpreted by tabulating machines. The exercise, which began late last week and was completed Tuesday, comes amid national concern about election integrity. “I think it’s fair to say that both state and county election officials were a little anxious because this has never been done before,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a written statement. “But it turned out to be an amazing success, and that’s because our staff and our county clerks have done a phenomenal job. I am thankful for their hard work and dedication.”

Full Article: Colorado's risk-limiting election audit has been completed.

Colorado: State pioneers voting safeguard | Grand Junction Sentinel

Colorado became the first state in the nation after this month’s election to complete a “risk-limiting” audit, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Such an audit, ordered by the Colorado Legislature in 2009, is a procedure designed to provide statistical evidence that the election outcome is correct, and has a higher-than-normal probability of correcting a wrong outcome. Risk-limiting audits require human beings to examine and verify more ballots in close races, and fewer ballots in races with wide margins. “Colorado is a national leader in exploring innovative solutions for accessible, secure and auditable elections,” said Matt Masterson, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, who witnessed the audit. “Colorado’s risk-limiting audit provided great insights into how to conduct more efficient and effective post-election audits. (The commission) is eager to share some of the lessons learned with election officials across America.”

Full Article: Colorado pioneers voting safeguard | Western Colorado | gjsentinel.com.

Colorado: State embarks on a first-of-its-kind election audit that’s drawing interest from out of state | The Denver Post

Colorado is embarking on a first-of-its-kind, statewide election audit that seeks to validate the accuracy of the state’s ballot-counting machines amid national concern about election integrity. The so-called risk-limiting audit involves a manual recount of a sample of ballots from 56 counties that had elections this year to compare them with how they were interpreted by tabulating machines. The exercise is drawing observers from Rhode Island, as well as top federal voting-oversight officials. “It’s a huge deal in the election world,” said Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, which is implementing the audit.

Full Article: Colorado embarks on a first-of-its-kind election audit that’s drawing interest from out of state – The Denver Post.

Colorado: Boulder County awaits ‘cured’ ballots from voters | Longmont Times-Call

Colorado voters who failed to sign the outside of the return envelope they were supplied with their 2017 ballots have until the close of business on Wednesday to “cure” that problem in order to have their votes counted in the final official election tallies. County clerks have mailed notifications of the issue to voters that turned in ballots without the required signature — as well as notifying voters in cases where election judges could not verify that the signatures on the envelopes matched signatures on the voters’ registration records. Mircalla Wozniak, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said that as of Monday afternoon, there still were 562 county voters’ ballots that needed to be “cured.”

Full Article: Boulder County awaits 'cured' ballots from voters - Longmont Times-Call.

Colorado: In Saguache County On Election Day, Mail-In Ballots Were Sitting In A Crime Scene | CPR

Sagauche County had an unusual problem with its election on Tuesday. The Post Office in the town of Saguache was burglarized Monday night, turning it into a crime scene and making it difficult to retrieve mail-in ballots. The county’s clerk and recorder, Carla Gomez says there were only six ballots at the Post Office that day. She says most of the county’s voters drop their ballots off in-person. “We were obviously concerned because we wanted to pick up any ballots that we needed to collect to get through the day and there was no mail available because the post office was closed,” Gomez said. “So what I did then was just notify the Secretary of State’s office immediately.”

Full Article: In Saguache On Election Day, Mail-In Ballots Were Sitting In A Crime Scene | CPR.

Colorado: Secretary of State makes a deal with electoral college members suing him | The Colorado Independent

Colorado’s GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams and attorneys for three members of the 2016 Electoral College class who are suing him for voter intimidation have reached a deal. They haven’t settled but instead agreed to make concessions on both sides that could grease the wheels to have their case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court more quickly. Under their agreement, the electors will not sue Williams personally and won’t ask for damages and attorney fees beyond a dollar. In exchange, the Secretary of State’s Office will waive any immunity, meaning the case won’t get bogged down in protracted litigation — and could move through the courts more quickly.

Full Article: Colorado Sec. of State makes a deal with electoral college members suing him: ‘We just want an answer to the constitutional question’ | The Colorado Independent.

Colorado: Denver Elections Director & CIO Share Advice to Secure Elections | EfficientGov

Amber McReynolds, director of elections in Denver and Scott Cardenas, chief information officer for the city and county of Denver, attributed the centralization of the city’s IT services as one of the most important factors securing Denver elections. Over the past nine years, centralization and collaboration have increased expertise in elections from one person to five, according to GCN.com. “We can have year-round conversations on the expectations and needs, so by the time that election night rolls around we can have a fairly smooth process,” Cardenas, who oversees more than 50 local agencies, said during an October 4th cybersecurity roundtable hosted and moderated by U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Full Article: Denver Elections Director & CIO Share Advice to Secure Elections | EfficientGov.

Colorado: GOP votes down move to cancel 2018 primary | Associated Press

Colorado Republican leaders on Saturday voted down an attempt by party activists to cancel the 2018 primary in order to prevent participation by unaffiliated voters. State voters last year approved changes that allowed Colorado’s 1.4 million unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary. The changes also included an “opt-out” provision that allowed for canceling primaries if the vast majority of a party’s leaders agree. In Saturday’s vote, 67 percent of the Republican central committee voted to stick with the primary system, versus 33 in favor of opting out, Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole said. Party leaders also agreed to revisit the issue in two years, he said. The vote came after some Republicans activists said only party members should be able to participate in candidate selections, so that those chosen would better reflect GOP values.

Full Article: Colorado GOP votes down move to cancel 2018 primary | Myrtle Beach Sun News.