This past legislative session has been dubbed the “most liberal ever” by journalists, but it may need a second moniker – the “sloppiest ever.”
Poorly written election law in a party line bill passed by Democrats forced a judge last night to cut off mail ballots in the recall elections of Senators John Morse and Angela Giron.
DENVER – District Judge Robert McGahey threw a wrench in the recall elections of Democrats Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo – ruling that Colorado’s election reform law is “flawed” because it conflicts with the state constitution.
McGahey ruled Monday in favor of a Libertarian Party challenge asserting candidates had been denied access to the recall ballot in violation of the state constitution.
The constitution grants 15 days for candidates to gather petition signatures from eligible voters – and that conflicts with House Bill 1303, a controversial elections law rewrite sponsored earlier this year by Giron and Democrat Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst of Longmont and Dan Pabon of Denver. Morse had signed on as a co-sponsor…
McGahey’s ruling could disenfranchise an estimated 900 military members serving overseas who are eligible to vote in the recall elections of Giron in Senate District 3 and Morse in Senate District 11.
Sloppy legislation seems like a hallmark of the 2013 session. Not only is HB1303 already causing problems but the controversial mag ban needed a signing statement and a back room deal just to clarify what lawmakers meant when they wrote the bill.
Ironically, HB1303 – which Giron sponsored and Morse co-sponsored – could end up spelling doom for their recall races. Without mail ballots, turnout is expected to plummet. For perspective on what it will mean, consider that 88% of voters in Colorado voted by mail in 2012.
A special election on guns in early September of an off-year in Colorado Springs and Pueblo where voters have to show up at polling locations is pretty much the exact opposite of a friendly electorate to Morse and Giron.
We guess Senator Owen Hill was rather prescient when he called 1303 “horsesh*t” during the floor debate. Now we’re just stepping in it.