Democrats in the State Legislature can usually rely on Dean Singleton’s Denver Post editorial board to come out swinging on their behalf. It has become so predictable that it’s only newsworthy when the Post ed board decides not to do so.
Their most recent editorial on the election reform bill — a bill written by the left-wing Common Cause without even consulting the chief election officer in Colorado — is a major exception.
In the editorial, they blast Democrats for pushing same-day voter registration into the bill, as it’s something that election experts take issue with — election experts that Democrats willfully ignored.
We have concerns, however, about the bill’s move to same-day voter registration. We worry the bill mandates a timeline that is too aggressive, particularly since it relies on technology that hasn’t been tested.
…Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who opposes the bill, makes persuasive arguments about the cost and difficulty of creating such a program on a fast-track basis. They must devise specifications, write the software and test it before the fall elections.
Democrats would have had this input had they included him in the creation of the bill, but they didn’t. Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, told us Gessler, a Republican, was excluded because he had “neither a willingness nor a common goal” in pursuing election reforms.
Gessler can be a prickly presence and has had a hand in creating the animosity that exists between himself and Democrats. Perhaps he now sees how it affects his ability to function as secretary of state.
With majorities in both legislative chambers and a Democratic governor, Democrats apparently see no need to consult Gessler. Yet, by cutting him out of the bill-drafting process, they lose the expertise of the professionals who work in his office.
Let it be noted that the Post editorial board never loses an opportunity to personally insult Gessler. Even when they are agreeing with the substance of his argument, they make sure to note how unlikeable he is to them and other liberals…as if that somehow excuses Democrats for writing bad legislation.
If the relative likability of legislators was a reason to exclude them from the legislative process, we don’t think much would get done at the Capitol. There are plenty of unlikeable people involved in Colorado politics, but voters are not likely to take that as a valid excuse to write bad legislation.
Whether any amendments are offered to correct this serious threat to electoral integrity will be an interesting test: do Democrats care about election integrity, or, as critics have been howling, is the bill just a mechanism for partisan gain?