Democrats and their liberal special interest allies have been on the warpath against Secretary of State Scott Gessler for attempting to enforce a law, written by Democrats, that requires ballots in all-mail elections to be mailed to active voters. Gessler doesn't write the laws, the Legislature does. Since the law specifies active votes, not eligible voters, Gessler interprets that as meaning County Clerk and Recorders can't mail ballots to inactive voters at their own will.

In a much under-reported aspect to this whole ginned up controversy, it's useful to look at how we got here.

In 2008, Democrats in the Legislature passed a bill, HB 1329 (PDF), that required ballots be mailed to inactive voters in the 2009 all-mail election.

In 2010 they passed another bill, HB 1116 (PDF) intended to make changes to voter registration and election law.

Did they include a provision requiring inactive voters to be mailed ballots in the all-mail 2011 election? No.

Here is the legislative language in the bill — which was co-sponsored by Democrat Representatives Todd, Apuan, Court, Ryden, Labuda and Democrat Senator Newell:

The designated election official shall mail to each active registered elector, at the last mailing address appearing in the registration records and in accordance with United States postal service regulations, a mail ballot packet, which shall be marked "DO NOT FORWARD. ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED."

Why did they not include the provision about mailing inactive voters? It was an option and they chose not to include it because, we are told, they were lobbied heavily by the County Clerk and Recorders who thought it would be an expensive procedure for a subset of voters who rarely return their ballots.

Let's look at who voted for the 2010 bill that specifically DID NOT include a provision for inactive all-mail ballots:

State House


State Senate


Attention ProgressNow, Common Cause, ColoradoPols: Why don't you ask these legislators why they didn't include the inactive voter provision in the 2010 bill?