by Jack Minor —
A series of bills passed by Colorado Democrats in the state legislature hit a snag last week after a judge berated the lawmakers for ignoring the state’s constitution.
“Writing an election law so clearly non-compliant with the state constitution,” Denver District Judge Robert McGahey said in a ruling, “I find that both sad and, frankly, shocking.”
The judge’s rebuke was made in reference to a 126-page bill passed by the Democrats under the guise of “election reform,” but as the bill was being debated, it became apparent to some that the real purpose of the bill was to enable Democrats to win elections.
Among other things, the bill requires all elections to be conducted by mail-in ballot and allow for same-day registration. The bill also eliminates residency requirements so state residents can go anywhere in the state and vote.
Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler warned the Democrats that the bill is a disaster waiting to happen and there was no need for it, as Colorado was one of the few states that increased voter turnout in 2012. Gessler and his office were never consulted about the bill.
Gessler says that while the idea of mail-in ballots being sent to every voter may sound noble, the system is ripe for abuse by groups wanting to pressure formerly inactive voters.
“During the last election, over one million Coloradans discarded their ballots, preferring instead to vote in person,” he explained. “Under the proposed law, voters will get a ballot even if they don’t want one or have any intention of voting.”
He suggested that policy would open the door to intimidation.