How many truly bad ideas can come up in the course of one Colorado legislative session? More than you may think (or maybe not). The latest hasn’t even been formally introduced yet, but the backlash has grown strong. Fox31 News reports on a proposal that would open up Colorado’s election system to fraud and abuse:
The 68-page draft bill, likely to be sponsored by House Speaker Terrance Carroll, D- Denver, and introduced later this week, would allow Colorado voters to register just three days before the 2010 election.
Currently, Coloradans must register to vote up until 29 days before an election. Carroll says allowing a longer registration period will open the door to greater voter turnout. But Republicans see it as a blatant attempt to bolster Democratic voter ranks ahead of an important election.
“I think it’s 100 percent politically-motivated,” said state Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, the former Douglas County Clerk and Recorder. “I can’t understand how someone would present such dramatic change to election law just short of an upcoming election, unless they had some ulterior motives.”
Fellow blogger Al Maurer breaks down the provisions in the bill and explains why it’s worthy of opposition “regardless of political affiliation.” GrizzlyGrannyLu at the People’s Press Collective posts a draft copy of the bill and contact information for your public officials to hear from you.
One unconfirmed report suggests 26 of Colorado’s 64 county clerks already have chimed in with their opposition. I don’t know if that number is accurate, but have it on good word that clerks in the larger counties of Arapahoe, El Paso, Mesa and my own Jefferson County have taken a stand on the right side.
Republican Secretary of State candidate Scott Gessler also chimed in today with a press release:
“This new bill is an open invitation to voter fraud in Colorado. Election-day registration has proven to be a disaster in places like Milwaukee, and we shouldn’t allow outside groups to collect live ballots and hold them for ten days”.
It would be good to know where current Democrat Secretary of State Bernie Buescher stands. But for now, you can do your part and speak out against it.
A lot of momentum is building against the proposed bill’s attempt to change this year’s elections rules midstream before the bill even has been filed. Now indeed is a good time to follow Deputy Barney Fife’s admonition and “Nip it in the bud.”
The Denver Post‘s Jessica Fender reports now that the bill “may not see daylight” … I’ll be happy when the may is replaced by will.