Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson is back in the news again; making a fool of herself, again. The Denver Post's Sara Burnett reports on Johnson's empty allegations of voter suppression by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, which she quietly retracted later by editing her statement online.


Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson ripped Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler on Wednesday, saying he is “trying for an end run around the court” with a proposed rule governing when clerks may mail ballots to inactive voters.

But Johnson later backed away from more serious charges of “voter suppression.”

“This rule, if enacted, oversteps the Secretary’s authority to interpret existing laws and may create new barriers for voters instead of eliminating them,” Johnson said in a statement sent out by her office and posted online. “It’s voter suppression, plain and simple.”

But after Gessler’s office defended the new rule, Johnson’s office altered its online statement to remove the quote about voter suppression.

Johnson's original allegation surrounded a rule by Secretary Gessler that said County Clerks could not mail ballots to inactive voters, outside primaries when everyone affiliated with a political party gets one, as that would violate the uniformity of the election. If inactive voters in Denver were mailed a ballot, but inactive voters in Colorado Springs weren’t that would unethically advantage one county's inactive voters over another's. 

Inactive voters can still vote by, you know, going to the polls. Like most voters in this country. But when they turnout in the low single digits, it's not worth the cost to cash-strapped counties to mail out thousands of ballots that won't get returned. 

The issue of mailing inactive voters has been one where Johnson has hypocritically tried to grandstand before. In 2011 she decided to fight Gessler and mail inactive voters, claiming it was an issue of fairness. But, as a Complete Colorado investigation found, when Johnson was the Clerk and Recorder for Aurora in 2007, she didn't even try to mail ballots to inactive voters. 

Johnson, and her fellow grandstanding liberal clerk Gilbert Ortiz (who struggles with counting), have been imperfect messengers for Common Cause's liberal attack on Scott Gessler. So has Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio and his Communications Director Matt Inzeo.

In fact, Gessler may be the luckiest pol in recent Colorado history. It seems every liberal who steps into the ring with Gessler ends up spending more time punching themselves in the face than landing blows on the Honey Badger himself.