Law enforcement officers in Greeley are inappropriately checking ID at a polling place near the University of North Colorado. Sheriffs and police officers are also stationed at two other polling locations in the area.
The Election Protection Coalition has dispatched two election lawyers to seek the officers’ immediate removal, and they are meeting with Greeley Mayor Ed Clark.
“It is our position that a police presence is intimidating to voters and not helpful,” says Sarah Brannon, a staff attorney with the Fair Elections Legal Network. “It is reasonable for the county to ask police officers to investigate crowd control issues. But it is not acceptable to have them check IDs or be involved in the voting process.”
Officers first arrived at a polling place this afternoon to quell a disturbance caused by a drunk voter, says Cathryn Hazouri, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. But the officers stayed on.
“This creates a huge chilling effect,” says Hazouri “It is intimidation and suppression of voters. The ACLU is concerned about this. It prevents people from voting. They won’t exercise their franchise.”
A call to the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s office was not immediately returned.
This is the second big election snafu to arise in Weld County today. The Colorado Independent reported earlier that Latino voters were leaving the polls because of a lack of Spanish language ballots. Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.