Earlier this year Colorado Democrats passed a barrage of anti-gun bills and pro-green energy bills. The consequences of their actions have driven some businesses out of the state, a group of counties in the northeast corner to consider possible secession from the rest of the state and a number of recall drives.
State Senator John Morse (D), President of the Senate, led the drive to push the bills and found himself to be the main target of an effort to recall him and drive him out of office. Along with Morse, recall campaigns were also launched against Sen. Evie Hudak (D), Sen. Angela Giron (D) and Rep. Mike McLachlan (D).
When the recall campaigns appeared to be getting close to gathering the necessary signatures, liberal Democrats began harassing and threatening voters who signed the recall petitions. They received phone calls and people at their doors urging them to withdraw their signatures from the recall petitions.
Their efforts to frighten voters failed and the recall campaigns were successful in obtaining enough signatures to force recall elections and recall elections have been scheduled for September 10. Colorado’s newly passed election law allows for such elections to be conducted by mailed ballots thirty days prior to the election.
In accordance with a newly passed election law, El Paso County (recall against Morse) officials printed ballots and began to mail them out, including to county residents serving in the military. Pueblo County (recall against Giron) officials likewise had printed their ballots and began mailing them out.
But before all of the ballots could be mailed out, members of the state’s Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit to stop the mailings. They claim that the state’s constitution allows for candidates to submit petitions to appear on the ballot up to 15 days prior to the election. A judge has placed a temporary halt to the recall elections until the conflict can be sorted out.
Now, the Secretary of State’s office is scrambling trying to figure out what their legal course of action is in the matter. They have drafted a set of emergency rules that would allow candidates who gather enough signatures and meet all of the requirements to still appear on the recall ballots. Voters in the counties that have already mailed out ballots will be notified that their ballots are incomplete. Voters will be directed to county election websites for a complete list of candidates. Residents serving in the military will also be told their ballots are incomplete and that a new ballot will be mailed to them. Either ballot filled out and mailed back to the county election officials will be counted as long as they are post marked no later than 7pm on September 10.
If the new rules are adopted, the recall elections will continue to move forward. Perhaps the best description of the recall elections in Colorado was made by Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) when he said:
“This recall process has had more curve balls than a baseball game.”
Hopefully, the recall elections will take place on the 10th of September and after all of the ballots have been counted, there will be at least 2, preferably 4 Democrats voted out of office and efforts made in the state legislature to start undoing the damage that has been done.