Election authorities nonchalant
by Jack Minor –
The Gazette has learned that a candidate running for a position on the school board may have violated election laws by having another individual collect petition signatures without signing a circulator’s affidavit.
Jean Daviet is one of four candidates running for a two year seat on the District 6 Board of Education. In order to qualify for a position on the ballot, a person must collect 50 valid signatures on a petition. The candidate can either collect the signatures themselves or, with a “circulator’s affidavit”, have someone else assist them.
According to Colorado law, any person gathering signatures, including the candidate, must sign a circulator’s affidavit swearing that they personally witnessed the signing of the petition.
Each person desiring to be a candidate is given a packet containing instructions on the procedures and forms that need to be filled out. The instruction for the petition circulator’s form clearly states that the circulator, “must personally observe every eligible voter who signs his/her petition.”
The Gazette conducted a review of all candidate petitions and other forms this week. Daviet’s paperwork showed a circulator’s affidavit for herself, but not for any other circulator. There were several unconfirmed reports of Daviet’s non-presence at her petition signings, but several witnesses have informed the Gazette that they signed a petition at a Republican breakfast to place Jean Daviet on the school board ballot without her being at the meeting. Jim Eckersley, leader of this breakfast, has confirmed she was not at the same meeting her petition was circulated.
Two other candidates, Logan Richardson and Timothy Pike, submitted affidavits for circulators other than themselves.
Weld County Clerk and Recorder, Steve Moreno, said while his office will be conducting the election, any procedural or eligibility issues were to be handled by District 6. It is unclear at this time what action the district will take on this issue. Bernadean Barea, Superintendent Lang’s assistant, is in charge of these petitions at the district, yet has said no action has been taken yet. Calls placed to the Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, were not immediately returned. The Greeley Gazette notes that it’s Registered Agent is Scott Gessler.
The penalty for improper circulation of a petition is a fine of up to $500, imprisonment by up to one year in the county jail or both. Election fraud not addressed or corrected by officials in past elections has resulted in loss of public office or position and statutorily punished. The Gazette will continue to follow up on this exclusive story.
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Posted by Jack Minor in Community category