Thursday, September 12, 2019

Colorado: State Senator Proposes changes to recall act

Colorado State Senator Jack Tate (R) has introduced a bill to change the recall act. Note it has a provision similar to Michigan's factual standard and an interesting provision restricting recall petitions against state legislators when the assembly is in session. Here's the key provisions -- Tate notes that the recall was adopted in 1912, though I'm unclear if and when the state moved away from a malfeasance standard.

The Colorado Valuing Open, Truthful, and Ethical Recalls (Colorado VOTER) Act includes:

  • Keeping taxpayer-funded ballot language factual. The law would explicitly state that petition recall statements ("statement of grounds") may not contain unlawful or defamatory language and are limited to statements of verifiable fact.
  • Protecting citizens’ right to representation when a state legislator is subjected to a recall effort. The Colorado VOTER Act restricts the filing or circulation of a recall petition of a state officer during the 120 days when the General Assembly is in session, reducing the amount of disruption a recall can cause when lawmakers are at the Capitol.
  • Full disclosure on the cost of recalls so that electors can make informed decisions. The measure requires the recall petition to include a disclosure of the estimated taxpayer cost to administer the petition campaign and a recall election, if the petition campaign is successful  

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