Nip Bad Elections Bill in the Bud

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.


  1. says

    Good and important piece. It would be good to know where Buescher stands. I may give a call. In my recent picaresque adventures seeking government disclosures and transparency over the past month, I have to say he seems to run a very responsive office. I’ve fouind his staff always willing to go out of their way to help, I like the campaign fincance and candidate disclosure Tracer websites, and even the “hold” message talks about my favorite theme, “we work for you.” Some executive branch Republicans might do well to adopt that motto.

    Dan Gibbs ultimately helped tremendously in my transparency project to obtain all the salaries of Colorado’s state and county officials, and the OLC produced a great report at his behest at my behest. It’s downloadable here, and is a only four pages. A handy guide.

    I think the GOP opponent against Gibbs for Summit County Commission is definitely tilting at windmills.

  2. says

    Dick Wadhams and Kent Lambert apparently thing Bernie is in thick with Carrol.

    “Why did Speaker Carroll and his compliant today Bernie Buescher draft this election rigging bill in secret with no input from Republican legislators or county clerks?” asked Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams.”

    I assume Wadhams meant “toady.” Lambert’s quite the twitter stud, and the link here, links to Wadhams’ press release.

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