Broomfield welcomes you…unless you’re a fracking operation.

Elections law violations?  No big deal.  At least, that’s the short hand for yesterday’s ruling that upheld a Broomfield ban on fracking. The other takeaway? HB13-1303, last year’s election reform bill, was at least partially responsible for this mess in Broomfield.

Shall we reflect upon the events that led us to this place?

On November 5, 2013, we reported that informal results had the ban, in light blue Broomfield narrowly failing.  From our post back then:

11/5 UPDATE: Informal results have the ban narrowly failing:

Then, on November 14, 2013, we reported about the shenanigans that were going on in Broomfield around this election, including escorted voting and magically appearing ballots.

One trusted source reported that a well-known fracktivist, Cliff Willmeng tried to escort an elderly woman in to get a ballot to vote just yesterday.

Cliff, was that you trying to commit voter fraud, or were you just being a good neighbor and helping your grandma vote? Our source tells us Mr. Willmeng was denied.

Today things are getting even weirder, with reports of magically appearing ballots and an email from one trusted source reporting that the Clerk and Recorder is actively considering counting a FedEx package full of votes mailed from Boulder and received after the election date.

On November 20, 2013, we reported that a mandatory recount in the clustereff of an election would be delayed indefinitely.

On election night a ballot measure that would implement a five-year ban on fracking in Broomfield appeared to have failed by 13 votes, but the outcome was different on Thursday when military and overseas ballots were counted.  According to The Broomfield Enterprise, the measure, then, passed by 17 votes and will go to mandatory recount. The recount has now been “delayed indefinitely” due to questions over voter eligibility, according to the Daily Camera.  This is just the latest in a series of shenanigans in the recount.

Just a couple of days later, a kind reader gave us a heads up about some of the conflicts of interest that existed on the canvassing board.

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.

In mid-Decemnber, it was reported that a judge de-certified the election because voters who shouldn’t have been counted were counted.

Right before Thanksgiving, the Secretary of State nailed Broomfield for disenfranchising voters on an enviro-sponsored initiative to ban hydraulic fracking.  Then, a judge took the extraordinary step of decertifying the election entirely because voters, who had no business voting, were counted.  Citizens of Broomfield with every right to vote were disenfranchised.

Then, Broomfield sued those who pointed out the election was probably not up to snuff.

But, the people calling the shots up in Broomfield are totally unrepentant about the debacle.  They are actually suing the very people who discovered the election was a mess in the first place.

On January 10, 2014, the Broomfield Enterprise reported that the Broomfield elections department had miraculously found a box full of ballots that couldn’t be counted.

“Broomfield elections administrator Michael Susek said the box was used to collect ballots deemed not countable in the election, but some voter advocacy groups say the box’s contents should have been accounted for during the election instead of being catalogued now.

The box was located in Susek’s office until Friday, when the unsealed metal box was opened and catalogued in front of an audience of residents and news crews.”

Given the mountain of questions resulting from this election, it seems like a disservice to the goal of fair elections to shrug off all of the shenanigans.  Then again, when Democrats rewrite elections rules, as they unwisely did in 2013, there are consequences.  Will the new elections bill that was supposed to make HB13-1303 better, HB14-1164, serve to make things better or make things worse?  If this mess is any indication, be on the look out for increased election shenanigans and unclear results.