Victory for Voters

CoandUSFlagCongratulations to the Election Task Force for protecting the rights of voters in Center, Colorado! In August 2013, the Task Force, along with Colorado Common Cause and Vet Voice Foundation, filed an amicus brief at the Colorado Supreme Court in support of reinstating the results of a recall election held in Center (Jones v. Samora). Earlier that summer, the District Court of Saguache County had voided the results of the election because there had been a potential for the secrecy of ballots to have been compromised: identifying voter numbers were not removed from mail ballots before ballot counting began; this error could have permitted someone to compare the ballot numbers to a list that contained the voter numbers and names, determining how individuals voted. (The Court, however, found no evidence of “fraud, undue influence and intentional wrongdoing” or proof that secrecy had actually been compromised.) In September, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case and on January 27, 2014, unanimously ruled on behalf of the petitioners, stating that although the possibility of a breach of secrecy existed “[it] did not call into question the fundamental integrity or secrecy of the entire election.” The trial court’s decision was reversed, reinstating the results of Center’s recall election—a major success for the Election Task Force and its work to protect voting rights throughout the state. Special thanks to Geoff Klingsporn (Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP) for representing the Colorado Lawyers Committee and for writing the amicus brief.

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