The Colorado Independent just received a copy of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal filed by Clerk Ortiz of Pueblo and Robert Nemanich regarding the District Court decision effectively dismissing the use of all-mail ballots in the upcoming historic recall elections.
In a surprise twist, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and El Paso Clerk Wayne Williams joined the Libertarian Party of Colorado in opposing the appeal.
“It has nothing to do with the merits of the appeal, it’s just that at the end of the day we need to put our heads down and get the election done,” said Ryan Parsell, Public Information Officer at the El Paso County Clerk’s office of their decision to side with the Libertarian Party and Secretary of State against the appeal.*
The Court’s decision was a split, with Justices Bender, Coats and Márquez agreeing to hear the appeal; Justices Eid, Rice and Boatright denying it; and Justice Hobbes abstaining.
September 10 recall elections will proceed as scheduled though not as planned, with the majority of ballots cast in-person at polling places throughout the two contested districts.
“We’re estimating that 80-90% of votes will be cast in person,” said Parsell, who added that in addition to four polling places opening the Thursday before the election, the County will now add three more on the day before and day of the election.
“We’ll be open for something like 9hrs on Saturday,” said Parsell. “We’ll also have excuse-based absentee voting. That’s for folks who absolutely can’t make to polling places.”
Parsell added that the County is currently finalizing polling locations and making a plan to include residents of nursing facilities and the home-bound.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler reinforced Parsell’s take in a release last night.
“Every eligible voter will have the opportunity to cast a ballot, including our military service members, under the plan we are putting together,” Gessler wrote. “Voters in El Paso and Pueblo counties can rest assured these elections will be conducted with the integrity they expect and deserve.”
See the Court Order here:
*updated and expanded information, via interview, added to original draft.