Welcome Developments in Colorado

October 12, 2011

We reported last week that Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler sued Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson. He wanted an order from the court telling her she could not send mail ballots for the upcoming mail-only election to certain registered and eligible voters; namely, those voters who missed the last election. On Friday, a Colorado court denied Secretary Gessler’s request, thus allowing Denver to send mail ballots to all registered Denver voters without interference from the Secretary of State’s office.

Now, more counties are following Denver’s lead.  Apparently, emboldened by the court’s decision, counties across Colorado are doing the right thing: making sure all registered voters can participate in the election.

Boulder, Pitkin, and Pueblo Counties will now join Denver in sending ballots to what are sometimes referred to as “inactive—failed to vote” electors. In plain language, this means those voters who are duly registered but did not vote in the last election.  Mesa County will send ballots to inactive military and overseas voters. Pueblo County had already planned to send mail ballots to inactive voters, but was waiting for the outcome of the Denver suit.  Now, Pueblo County will go ahead with its plans. Boulder, Mesa, and Pitkin Counties announced their decisions after Friday’s ruling. These moves will allow thousands of registered voters, who could otherwise have been prevented from voting, to participate in the election.

Unfortunately, Secretary Gessler has indicated that he will continue to press for restrictive voting rules for the 2012 Election. But for now, at least, the right to vote is on the rise in Colorado.