UPDATE: A reader writes in suggesting a reason for some of the shenanigans — a member of the Canvassing Board that certified the results while there were concerns about its validity is a leader in one of the fractivist groups. Joan Murahata, Vice Chair of the Broomfield Democratic Party, is a member of the anti-fracking group “Our Broomfield” while also serving on the Canvassing Board.
The canvassing official who helped preside over an election laced full of irregularity is also the point person for the group trying to ban fracking in the first place?
Well isn’t that convenient.
Wondering why the results turned? Boulder ballots, nursing home shenanigans, and a fractivist as referee.
Only in Boulder, we mean Broomfield.
The Denver press has been too busy covering Darryl Hannah’s view of energy extraction to pay much attention to a simmering controversy in Broomfield.
Significant voter irregularities plagued the Broomfield election, which included a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing.
As The Colorado Observer reported:
BROOMFIELD – The second ballot recount of the controversial five-year fracking ban was scheduled Wednesday but now is postponed because of complaints that the Broomfield Canvass Board had not given the required 24-hour advance public notice – and that the Broomfield Clerk and Recorder improperly issued ballots to individuals who were not eligible to vote on the issue…
Broomfield County Clerk and Recorder Jim Candelarie reportedly ignored the residency requirements. His office doled out ballots to new voters – and didn’t think to check their residency duration to confirm their eligibility to vote on the Broomfield fracking ban until weeks later.
Candelarie mailed “Self-Affirmation of Elector” documents to hundreds of voters, asking them to state how long they had lived in Broomfield and to sign the affidavit. And his staffer delivered those documents on Election Day to seniors in a nursing home.
Unknown is how many “Self-Affirmation” documents were returned – at least 55 were but their ballots had reportedly been misplaced and not counted in the election.
At least 22 of those documents delivered to the nursing home were filled out by one staff member from Candelarie’s office – all handwritten and dated, “11/5/2013” – and several noted that the individuals were too sick to sign them.
One “Self-Affirmation” document executed by Candelarie’s staffer stated that the voter had cast her ballot in October, and then died two days later. Though she had stated residency in excess of 30 days, a member of the clerk and recorder’s office said it was highly unlikely that her vote would count because she died before Nov. 5.
Local Republicans are also saying that a bundle of Broomfield ballots mailed in a single envelope from Boulder were part of the ballots being considered on the night the vote flipped from a frack ban defeat to a narrow frack ban lead.
Today a new piece of information was just unearthed by The Colorado Observer – an email with a Broomfield official acknowledging serious errors that could have tipped the scales in the election, as the fracking ban only passed by 17 votes:
DENVER — Amid growing evidence of systematic irregularities that could potentially render an entire election invalid, officials in Broomfield may be fessing up. In a damage control tactic normally reserved for political scandals, the city and county appeared to concede this week that a number of legitimate voters may have been disenfranchised, while others not entitled to vote may have cast ballots.
An email obtained by TCO sent by City and County Manager Charles Ozaki on November 22 to members of the council cites a recent analysis by the Secretary of State’s office which found that “27 votes that were excluded from the certified count could have been included; and that three votes that were counted should have been excluded.”
Watch this one closely. It is going to get more interesting before it is over.