Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Sorry, Scott Gessler: Many county clerks began mailing ballots yesterday to all registered voters

County clerks began mailing ballots out yesterday. And in Denver, Pueblo, Boulder and a half-dozen other counties, that also meant mailing ballots to voters labeled "inactive" -- some because they'd simply skipped one election cycle. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler had sued Denver County to prevent that, but a judge's decision last Friday allowed Denver to reach out to all registered voters, active or not, and other counties quickly followed suit.

Not all counties are taking advantage of that ruling, however. And ProgressNow Colorado is challenging Adams County Clerk Karen Long to send mail ballots to every registered voter in Adams County with a deliverable address.

"As one of Colorado's most populous counties, shouldn't Adams County voters be given the same opportunity to participate as Denver voters?" PNC asks. "Adams County Clerk Long has worked to increase voter participation in the past, so with this ruling, she can take advantage of legal clarity and provide ballots to these registered voters."

Scandal-plagued Adams County is not just one of Colorado's most populous counties. It happens to be a heavily Democratic county -- and in a story in today's Denver Post, opponents of Proposition 103 question whether this push to send ballots to all voters is just a way to promote Rollie Heath's tax proposal.

But in this case, it's simply the right thing to do. A registered voter's decision to skip out an election cycle should not remove him from the process. And you don't need a slap from Rachel Maddow, who laid one on Gessler last week, to recognize that.

Just a judge.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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