Friday, January 31, 2014

Colorado: Supreme Court reverses Center recall ruling; reinstates recall decision

Seems to be a significant ruling on secret ballots in Colorado. Colorado's Supreme Court unanimously overturned a lower court ruling that tossed out a recall result in Center that resulted in the ouster of the mayor and two council members over a water rate hike (one additional council member survived the recall vote).

Right after the vote took place, a district court struck down the results and held that the recall was invalid due to the use of numbered stubs on the absentee ballot that were improperly removed (actually, not removed) -- thereby (in the eyes of the lower court) compromising the integrity of the recall. The ballot counters would have theoretically been able to compare the numbers and see how a specific voter voted. 

The Supreme Court's ruling provides a nice look back on the history of voting buying (which is what the prohibition on marked ballots set out to address). However, the Supreme Court rules that the official doing the counting has to mark the ballot, and it is specifically not referring to the stubs. 

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