Judge rules against Gessler

Colorado secretary of state Scott Gessler

Denver District Judge Brian Whitney today ruled against Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, saying Denver County may send ballots to inactive voters. Gessler had asked for a preliminary injunction to stop the mailing.

The ruling affects more than 50,000 voters in Denver. Voters are deemed inactive if they did not vote in the 2010 election or any elections since then.

Gessler had sued Denver to prevent Denver from mailing ballots to inactive voters. Pueblo County later joined the suit as a defendant, as did numerous progressive and voter rights organizations.

Pueblo County clerk Gilbert Ortiz announced today that he, too, would send ballots to soldiers serving overseas and to other inactive voters.

Maps show that in Denver inactive voters tend to be most prevalent in areas with heavy Hispanic concentrations.
In recent years, inactive voters in Colorado have tended to be Democrats more than Republicans, perhaps indicative of people who turned out to vote for Obama in 2008, but then did not vote in the 2010 election.

Gessler has garnered statewide and national press as a result of the lawsuit, and the issue is not resolved by today’s ruling, as the full suit will be heard later.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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