It is a bill good-government activists were supposed to get behind enthusiastically. Then they read it. Now they now decry it as being ambiguously worded and ripe for abuse.
Posts Tagged gilbert ortiz
New tallies released by Pueblo County Clerk Bo Ortiz on Thursday put the percentage of “inactive voters” who returned ballots this year at 1,791 or nearly 11 percent of county voters. That’s a gain of nearly 5 percentage points from 2009 and well above the previous statewide 3 percent average.
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz defended his right to send ballots to “inactive voters” this year over the objections of Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Ortiz told the Colorado Independent he believes his main objective as clerk is to facilitate participation in elections and, on that score, he has succeeded. As of Monday night, 16 percent of the county’s roughly 17,000 inactive voters had cast ballots. That’s 2,700 votes, nearly 9 percent of all votes cast in the county, which is a lot of votes.
When it rains, it pours, and when a reporter finds a good story, they don’t let go. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow seems to have found a good story in Colorado. This week, she ran her third segment on Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s efforts to stop county clerks from mailing ballots to inactive voters.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow skewered Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler last night, relying heavily on the work of the Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic in a report titled “Things to Sue in Denver When You’re Suppressing Votes.”
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz will comply with Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s order not to send ballots to soldiers out of state who are legally registered Pueblo County voters but who failed to cast ballots in 2010. The news came Friday afternoon in a carefully worded release that came after hours of deliberation.
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz gave Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler until this morning to specifically and formally address another of the charged ramifications of his new interpretation of state election law. Gessler got in under the wire. Thursday evening, he sent Ortiz a letter ordering him not to send ballots to any of the county’s “inactive voters”– legally registered voters who failed to cast ballots in the previous even-year general election– including roughly 70 soldiers on the Pueblo County inactive voter rolls serving out of state. In Pueblo as elsewhere in the state, inactive voters are now meant to visit the clerk’s office or a polling place to retrieve ballots. With the election a month away, Gessler’s directive seems likely to effectively disenfranchise the soldiers.
Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler made national news this week by filing a lawsuit to stop Denver County, and by extension all Colorado counties, from mailing ballots to the state’s “inactive” voters. The case drew the attention of voter-rights defender US Reps Charles Gonzalez of Texas and Robert Brady of Pennsylvania, who wrote a letter asking the justice department to investigate. The congressional letter (embedded below) is just the latest alarmed response to Gessler’s lawsuit, which has featured howls from the local and national press, complaints from voter activist groups and legal push-back from Denver and Pueblo county election officials. At the eye of the storm, Gessler communications staff has been mostly hunkered down and silent on the matter, spokesperson Rich Coolidge surfacing at last today in a Texas newspaper to dismiss the congressional concerns as political gamesmanship.
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz is pained by the idea that his office would fail to send an election ballot to even one of county soldier serving in the US Military overseas. He sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Scott Gessler seeking an express prohibition “in writing ” on sending ballots to soldiers overseas who are legally registered but inactive voters.