- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Purposely casting ballot in wrong city, Coloradan shows flaws in new election law
Question of the Day
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Jon Caldara has never actually lived in Colorado Springs — he’s a longtime Boulder resident — but Saturday he cast a ballot in the recall election of state Sen. John Morse, who represents a district in Colorado Springs.
Mr. Caldara says he did it to prove a point about the state’s new election law, which ushers in same-day voter registration but also appears to open the door for so-called “gypsy voters,” as long as they declare their intent to move to the new district when they cast their ballots.
For the record, Mr. Caldara, who heads the Independence Institute in Denver, said he didn’t actually mark his ballot.
“I went in there and voted a blank ballot to make sure there was no distraction from the point of this, which is how easy it is to move around voters to different districts where they’re needed,” Mr. Caldara said. “The big question was, ‘Can I get a ballot?’ And the answer is, ‘Yes, I can, and it’s perfectly legal.’”
Confusion over the new election law has added another layer of controversy to the state’s first-ever legislative recall election, which is being watched nationally as a referendum on gun control. Mr. Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron are fighting to keep their seats in the recall elections Tuesday, sparked by the legislators’ support for bills tightening access to firearms and ammunition.
Critics were quick to accuse Mr. Caldara of voter fraud. ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Amy Runyon-Harms immediately called for El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams to refer the incident to the district attorney “for prosecution as a felony crime.”
“The fact is, Jon Caldara lives in Boulder, not in Colorado Springs, and he is willfully committing a felony by attesting otherwise — even if it’s a ‘political stunt,’” Ms. Runyon-Harms said in a statement.
Mr. Caldara countered by accusing her of trying to intimidate voters.
“These attempts at voter intimidation are repugnant, and they’re also illegal,” he said.
Ryan Parsell, spokesman for the local county clerk’s office, said Mr. Williams plans to refer any “suspicious activity” to the district attorney after the election, but declined to comment on the specifics of the Caldara case.
“The law says if somebody gives us an address and signs an affirmation saying that their intention is to live there, we have to let them vote,” Mr. Parsell said. “However, we reserve the right to report any suspicious activity to the district attorney, and that’s all that can be done at this point.”
Critics such as Mr. Caldara have lambasted Democrats over the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act, calling the law either sloppy or designed to allow party power brokers to move voters from safe districts into tossup districts during close elections.
Democrats insist the law does nothing of the sort, but rather makes it easier for voters to cast ballots by eliminating the previous 29-day voter-registration requirement.
The new elections law originally was written to take effect in 2014 but was changed to kick in immediately upon the governor’s signature. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill in May, two months after recall efforts were launched against Mr. Morse and Ms. Giron.
Before voting, Mr. Caldara signed a document affirming that he was 18 and had lived in Colorado for at least 22 days. Asked to provide an address within District 11, he put down the address of “a buddy’s house, where I’m renting a room,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- EPA hears testimony on proposed carbon emissions rules
- Westerners call for oversight to combat federal land managers
- Protesters rally in Colorado to support Israel's fight with Hamas
- Plagiarism scandal threatens Senate campaign of Montana Democrat John Walsh
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world