Five candidates — so far— have signed a letter to be sent to Secretary of State Scott Gessler requesting an election official be provided to Colorado Springs to oversee City Clerk Kathryn Young.
The letter — signed by District 2 Council candidate Angela Dougan, District 3 Council candidate Lisa Czelatdko, and mayoral candidates Buddy Gilmore, Tom Gallagher and Brian Bahr — says the candidates "lack confidence that the upcoming Municipal Election will be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner."
In a press release, Bahr stated: "The ongoing problems from the City Clerk's office are not reflective of many city employees who do their jobs with dedication and excellence; however, in order to avoid concerns regarding the results on April 5th, we felt it was in the best interests of every candidate and the voters to make this request. I invite additional candidates to sign onto this request to Secretary Gessler."
The letter reads in full:
March 15, 2011
Secretary of State Scott Gessler
Colorado Department of State
1700 Broadway, Denver, CO 80290
In the last several months there have been ongoing concerns regarding Colorado Springs City Clerk Kathryn Young and her office.
We now lack confidence that the upcoming Municipal Election will be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner. We are asking your office to step in, observe, and ensure a honest and transparent election process.
Ms. Young and her office have made numerous errors causing confusion among candidates for both City Council and Mayor.
These errors include:
Tearing up legally collected petitions for a Council candidate in District 3.
Incorrect order for the initial ballot listing of Council candidates for District 2.
Changing the published date that ballots would be mailed to voters.
Creating confusion regarding legality of municipal candidates receiving corporate contributions.
Due to the passage of the Strong Mayor city charter amendment in November, 2010, Ms. Young, for the first time, will be directly affected by the outcome of this election. Can she be an unbiased, objective election official given these circumstances?
We, the undersigned, now lack confidence in the Colorado Springs City Clerk and her office to ensure the April 5, 2011 Municipal Election is fair, honest, and transparent.
We hereby make a formal request of your office to send a state Elections Official to observe the Colorado Springs City Clerk and her office as they mail, receive, and count the ballots for the April 5, 2011 Municipal Election.
As ballots are intended to be mailed this coming Wednesday, March 16, 2011 we ask for an immediate response to this request.
Brian Bahr, Candidate for Mayor
Tom Gallagher, Candidate for Mayor
Buddy Gilmore, Candidate for Mayor
Lisa Czelatdko, Candidate for City Council District 3
Angela Dougan, Candidate for City Council District 2