Democrats moved forward Friday with a measure they say will boost voter turnout in recall elections, despite strong opposition from Republicans assailing it as unconstitutional. The legislation looks to harmonize language in state statute with Colorado’s constitution in regard to the recall election process. Under the constitution, a candidate has up to 15 days before Election Day to submit signatures so that the candidate’s name can appear on the recall ballot.
The Libertarian Party of Colorado filed suit in Denver District Court Friday, seeking immediate relief from the inherent conflicts in and unlawful implementation of HB 1303, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act. It is also widely known as the Voter Fraud Bill for its “catch me if you can” approach to voting integrity. The suit claims that the new law disenfranchises voters because of the way it changes residency requirements. Since the requirements of the law conflict with local election codes, county clerks have implemented the law in different ways, making things even worse. The defendants in the case are Secretary of State Scott Gessler, county clerks Gilbert Ortiz (Pueblo County), Wayne Williams (El Paso), Jack Arrowsmith (Douglas), and Matt Crane (Arapahoe), representing a defendant class of all Colorado County Clerk & Recorders.
A Denver District Court judge on Thursday ruled that the office of Secretary of State Scott Gessler went overboard when establishing rules for the first-ever recall elections of state legislators. “I do not think any of the matters that we’re about to deal with were enacted or adopted by the secretary of state’s office in bad faith,” Judge Robert McGahey said. “But I think some of them were wrong.” Two Democrats — Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo — face ouster over their support for gun-control legislation during the 2013 session. Their elections are Sept. 10.
Colorado: Election day voter registration attacked by GOP, defended by Democrats in Colorado | The Gazette
A politically polarizing new election law will get its first test run during the Sept. 10 recall elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Same-day voter registration became mandatory with an elections overhaul bill that was signed into law in May. Democrats say allowing voters to register on election day provides greater access to the polls; Republicans say it will lead to rampant election fraud. It’s a debate being played out across the nation this year as states weigh the issue. The new law – HB1303 – will get its first test run during elections that are historic for being the first recall elections of state-level officials in Colorado. Voters will decide in two weeks whether to keep Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, in office.
Colorado: Cash-strapped Pueblo County asks for election help, gets law lecture instead | Denver Post
Pueblo County reached out to the state to pay for a Sept. 10 recall election this week. But all County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz got was a law lecture. Monday Ortiz sent a letter to Secretary of State Scott Gessler asking for the state to pay for an election on recalling state Sen. Angela Giron, a Democrat who riled up opponents earlier this year when she supported gun-control legislation. “Because of the last minute nature of the Recall Election, our Office does not have the money in our budget for these unexpected expenditures, nor does Pueblo County as a whole,” Ortiz stated in the one-paragraph letter. “Pueblo County has experienced recent emergency expenditures that have caused an unexpected financial burden to the County adding to our budgetary challenges and making additional funding from Pueblo County unlikely.” Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz told Secretary of State Scott Gessler that Pueblo County doesn’t have enough money in its budget to fund a Sept. 10 recall election.