Law Firm Serving Denver and Colorado
Friday, March 28, 2008
House Bill 1329
House Bill 1329
has passed in the Senate this week. It is a bill that would increase the time a voters name would stay on the active voters list. Currently, if a voter does not attend and vote in a general election
a card is sent out within 90 days. This card allows them to remain active if responding but also designates them inactive if there is no response. This new Bill would allow for another year to pass with non-involvement before the inactive status would apply. At anytime in both the current process and the proposed process the voter may contact their county clerk
to readmit their active status.
The supporters of this Bill include the sponsor Senator Ken Gordon, Denver, who says that this allows more people the oppertunity to vote. He states that it is "a societal good to have more people vote." Other supports argue that the system in place now disenfranchises people by requiring residents to engage in the political process every couple years just to remain active instead of allowing voters to participate at their own choice.
to this Bill includes many county clerks who argue that the active voter roll would increase to an unmanageable size if they were required to keep names on for the extra time. El Paso County Clerk Bob Balink said that the new measure would "flout the historic civic commitment voters are expected to show." And that "by definition, 'inactive' is a deliberate absence of activity or effort, yet this bill would call them active? That does not make sense to me." This new system would overload the list in larger counties like El Paso, who in last year alone recorded around 130,000 inactive voters or Denver County where 40% of voters, nearly 155,000 people are listed inactive.
Other opponents worry about the integrity of the system which would make it easier for voters to remain active even after moving. This could possibly allow them to come back for poll voting or even easier, use the mail-in ballot voting system causing these votes to be invalid.
Law makers are pushing and moving to a solution. We will see what happens regarding voter registration shortly. Click here to view this Bill
Labels: House Bill, Voter registration
posted by Emily Kinzer at 1:39 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008
After months of debate, it looks like balloting will be the individual choice of each County this election year.
About 60% of the states registered voters will be casting paper ballots in November on Election
Day. So far at least 35 of the 64 Colorado counties will be using paper balloting; Denver County being the largest, San Juan County being the smallest making this decision.
At least 9 counties, including Douglas, will offer voters a choice of electronic voting terminals or paper ballots in a hybrid system. Douglas County Clerk Jack Arrowsmith supports this process because "it offers the voter a choice." He also mentions that he wants his community's voters to have the option if they still harbor ill feelings due to prior electronic voting system mishaps.
Expect to see all-electronic polling if you live in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Weld, or Mesa County, where they will not have paper ballots in place at all. Republican Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany articulates "I've got total confidence in the machines."
This all stems from major issues involved with the electronic voting system in the 2004 election and the decertification of the voting machines across the state. Recently there has been discussion of mandating paper balloting statewide in all counties. Many county clerks
have expressed concern with the issue of scale and solidarity in the paper balloting system. Some counties are simply too large for paper ballots to be logical and economical.
Secretary of State Mike Coffman has been in the process of investigating the machines and recertifying them for this years use. As discussion about mandating paper ballots rose to it peak last week, Coffman defended the decision
to allow the counties to choose themselves by vocalizing his concern for the short notice to counties planning on using the recertified systems and thus possibly creating even greater problems."... there are some counties that aren't there, and at this late date, it would have been very difficult."
Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon
, who authored the paper ballot plan, has expressed doubts about the electronic voting machines. "I think that there are problems with electronic voting machines. And with paper ballots, you've got something you can verify, audit and recount." He said until recently, he didn't realize so many counties were already planning to use paper ballots. He still believes in the importance of creating a uniform statewide elections system. He feels it is especially important after Coffman temporarily decertified some machines while recertifying many others.
The deputy minority leader in the State House of Representatives David G. Balmer spoke up Thursday stating, "This solution will allow the method of voting to be decided by individual county clerks who know what kind of elections systems work best in their counties." Huerfano County Clerk Judy Benine agrees."I'm for whatever works for all of us" she said.
All paper ballots
won't be this year but there could be a change in the future. Make sure to check with your County Clerk if you are not sure what to expect at your 2008 polling place.
Labels: ballots, Colorado, elections
posted by Emily Kinzer at 9:08 AM
Friday, March 14, 2008
Campaign Finance Enforcement HB 08-1041 Passed
House Bill 08-1041, concerning the enforcement of legal requirements pertaining to campaign finance passed
in the House on February 12 and in the Senate March 13.
Sponsored in the House by Representative Carroll and in the Senate by Senator Gordon this bill authorizes any person who believes that campaign/political finance
rules or any part of the FCPA, Fair Campaign Practices Act, have been violated to file with the Secretary of State a written complaint that will be researched. Representative M. Carroll discussed the need for the enforcement provisions contained in the bill throughout the process.
Click here to see the details from the Colorado General Assembly
If after investigation, one is found guilty of a violation, the committing party will face processes and sanctions specified in Article XXVIII of the Colorado Constitution (Amendment 27) or as defined by sections of this new C.R.S. subsection. Sanctions may require reimbursement to the fund of the State
or Political subdivision.
Click here to see the timeline of this bill
posted by Emily Kinzer at 1:24 PM
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Paper Ballots for Denver in 2008
Denver Clerk and Recorder Stephanie O'Malley announced today the decision for Denver voters to cast paper ballots in the upcoming General and Primary elections
this year. After the difficulties of 2006, where an estimated 20,000 voters walked away from voting centers with lines lasting over 4 hours, O'Malley hopes the paper ballot system will be more successful.
Along with paper ballots this year, the 426 precincts will be combined into around 175 "super-precinct" polling places. Denver is also planning on using the 240 DRE (direct recording electronic) touch-screen voting machines, once they are fixed and recertified, as devices for the disabled community. With an expected 90,000+ voters for the primary election and estimated 260,000+ voters for the general election, Denver is hoping to work all the kinks out prior to Election Day.
This idea of the "super-precinct" polling place comes after discussion of a proposed all-mail in ballot election where voters would be able to drop off their ballots or vote in person at any of the service centers designated.
O'Malley stated concerns that arose about the validity of the service centers, the ways in which the ballots would be counted, as well as how the disabled community's needs would be meet. This system would also require the use of an electronic poll book (an e-poll book) to verify voter's eligibility at the locations. The e-poll book was one of the major components in causing the 2006 problems. People also have stated a preference to vote in person. O'Malley declared that this could potentially create the same overcrowding the voting centers experienced in 2006.
"Citizens and committee members have told us several things very clearly. By and large they want paper ballots and they want the option of going to a polling place to vote
," said O'Malley.
Two concerns still remain even after O'Malley's decision for paper ballots:
1. There is an appeal awaiting decision with the Secretary of State's office concerning the DRE voting machines to be used in the limited capacity of aiding the disabled community;
2. There is discussion of possible action to be taken in the state legislature
forcing Denver to look into a mandatory state-wide mail in ballot.
As of right now the voting system models local choice not a mandatory voting model. This allows counties to create a system that works best for their needs based on their voting population.
Keep checking the Denver County Elections
page for updates on the 2008 elections. Have questions about the 2008 elections or your voter registration? Visit the Secretary of State here
Labels: ballots, Denver, elections
posted by Emily Kinzer at 4:20 PM
Monday, March 03, 2008
The race continues for the Presidential nomination
The race continues forward for the presidential nomination on both the Republican and Democratic
sides. Tomorrow, March 4th, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont all hold their primaries which could be the make or break point for candidates on both sides. Here's where things stand:
Arizona Sen. John McCain has taken recent primaries in Virginia, Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. With 1,033 delegates, McCain is currently the front-runner and is pretty sure to be the Republican nomination for President.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee remains in the race in 2nd position with a total of 247 delegates winning Louisiana and Kansas since Super Tuesday last month. He has voiced his intentions of staying in the race until he or Sen. McCain obtain the needed 1,191 delegates to officially acquire the nomination.
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who has not won anywhere, remains in the challenge holding on to 21 pledged delegates. Tomorrow in Texas, not only will he rally for votes for the presidential nomination but he will be vying for his House seat as well. Democrats
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has seemed to be on a successful track lately winning not only the States but the Virgin Islands and the Democrats Abroad Global primaries as well. He is headed into tomorrow with hopes of solidifying his role as the party's
front-runner moving him closer to the Democratic nomination. Out in the lead with 1,369 total delegates secured, the momentum is not expected to stop for Sen. Obama.
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton needs to capture the vote in both Texas (193 delegates) and Ohio (141 delegates) to remain competitive against Sen. Obama. While she still remains very close to Sen. Obama with a total of 1,267 pledged delegates, Sen. Clinton has fallen short at the last 11 nominating contests. Trailing by only 102 delegate votes, it is a very close, tight race. The results of Tuesday's primaries could make or break Sen. Clinton campaign.
See the total delegate count for Republican
candidates. To see a list of State primary/caucus dates click here.
posted by Emily Kinzer at 8:00 AM
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