Recall madness: Appeal fails, new rules being drafted

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Secretary of State Scott Gessler
  • Secretary of State Scott Gessler
The Colorado Supreme Court has declined an appeal made by plaintiff Robert Nemanich that aimed to change the timetable of the recall election.

The decision means that a lower court decision — which allowed candidates more time to petition onto the ballot, but also left precious few days for people to actually vote — stands. Consequently, mail ballots won't go out to most voters for the September 10 recall elections of Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron. To read more about how the judge's decision altered the timetable for the election click here.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler released the following statement on the decision:

The Supreme Court has settled this issue. Now we know for sure elections will take place on Sept. 10. We've already begun rolling our sleeves up to make these elections a success. Every eligible voter will have the opportunity to cast a ballot, including our military service members, under the plan we are putting together. Voters in El Paso and Pueblo counties can rest assured these elections will be conducted with the integrity they expect and deserve.

With the tight time schedule, it will be impossible to follow current election law. Gessler has been charged with drafting the rules that will govern the recall. He's already released draft rules which were discussed with the two county clerks overseeing the recall last night.

Some interesting things to note:

• Only those who are unable to go to a polling place are eligible for a mail ballot. All other voting will take place at polling places. Four such polling sites will open Sept. 4 in El Paso County. An additional three will open Sept. 9. All will remain open through election day.

• Voters can register online or through a paper form up until Sept. 4. After that, same-day registration will be available at the polls. IDs are encouraged, but not required, in order to register. 

• Mail ballots have already been sent to overseas residents and military members. Assuming another candidate qualifies for the ballot, new ballots will be made available overseas. If a person votes on both ballots, only the second ballot will count. However, military members who vote only on the first ballot will also see their votes counted — despite the fact that those ballots may not include all the successor candidates. It's not clear whether this could lead to legal problems should the race between successor candidates be close.

Read the full draft rules here.

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