Court to Coffman: No More Purging

October 31, 2008

For Immediate Release:

Tim Bradley, Brennan Center for Justice, 646-452-5637 or 314-440-9936
Sabrina Williams Advancement Project, 202-728-9557 or 305-904-3960
Jenny Flanagan, Colorado Common Cause, 303-292-2163 or 303-842-1515

– The Court today again told Secretary of State Mike Coffman to cease and desist from any additional removal of names from registration lists before Election Day. In an emergency hearing held by phone, U.S. District Judge John Kane emphasized in clear language that Secretary Coffman's purge practices had violated federal law. Notably, while the Court said that the conduct did not rise to the level of contempt, the Judge did consider the Secretary's conduct to be "obdurate."

In response to the news, Jenny Flanagan, executive director of Colorado Common Cause, issued the following statement:

"The Court has now sent a clear and binding message to state and local election officials that every legitimate voter should be able to vote, every vote should be counted, and anyone who interferes with the voting process should be held accountable.

"The agreement reached on Wednesday provided a critical safeguard for voters who were wrongfully removed from Colorado's registration list. Secretary's Coffman's brazen remarks in news reports this morning indicated that he was refusing to comply with the Court's initial order. Thankfully the Court has once again stepped in to put voters first."