DENVER — House Democrats approved on a 37-28 party-line vote Thursday a bill aimed at improving their odds in recall elections over the objections of Republicans, who argued that the measure violates the state constitution.
Senate Bill 158 redefines Election Day as the day that early voting begins, which would allow county clerks enough time to mail out ballots before a recall. Last year’s historic recalls were conducted as walk-in elections, prompting some Democrats to blame “voter suppression” after two Senate Democrats were ousted.
Democrats said the bill was intended to “harmonize” recall voting with last year’s sweeping elections overhaul that mandated mail-in ballots, but Republicans accused Democrats of attempting to rewrite the constitution through the legislative process.
“As legislators we all took the same oath to uphold the constitution, yet somehow the Democrats believe their current majority in the state legislature entitles them to change our constitution behind Coloradans’ backs,” said state Rep. Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) in a statement. “Both the attorney’s general office and secretary of state’s office believe the constitutional change should be decided by Colorado voters.” Read more »