Despite Widespread Errors, Controversy, Broomfield Frack Ban Recount Certified

December 6, 2013
Broomfield officials certified the controversial vote, despite widely reported election irregularities

Broomfield officials certified the controversial vote Thursday, despite widespread election irregularities and errors

BROOMFIELD – Pushing aside doubts about the credibility of the bungled Broomfield election, canvass board members city and county clerk Jim Candelarie and Joan Murahata certified the recount results Thursday of ballot Question 300 to impose a five-year ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Canvass board member Marty Robinson refused to sign the certification.

Doubts about the integrity of the election were so widespread that the Secretary of State’s office issued a critical 8-page report citing numerous mistakes including improperly issuing municipal election ballots to three ineligible voters, while denying ballots to more than 20 eligible voters and refusing to count 11 ballots in violation of state election laws.

Robinson said last week that he wanted to resolve questions about election irregularities before proceeding with the recount. But he was overruled by Candelarie and Murahata, who worked on the Our Broomfield campaign to pass Question 300.

The controversial fracking ban passed by 20 votes – 10,361 to 10,341 – according to the recount Tuesday. The results have changed three times since Broomfield reported Nov. 5 that Question 300 was being defeated by 13 votes, and nearly two weeks later, winning by 17 votes after provisional and overseas ballots were counted.

“This election is far from finished,” said former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, an advisor to Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition that opposed Question 300.

“The certification is little more than an administrative action and provides no comfort to the people of Broomfield and Colorado seeking election transparency and integrity,” said Nikkel.

Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition (BBEC) declared the certification has no bearing on the ability to file a challenge to the election.  Colorado state law provides for parties to file an ‘election contest’ within 10 days following certification.

Broomfield officials have admitted publicly to widespread mishandling of the ballot counting and validating processes – the mistakes may have disenfranchised a hundred voters who moved within and outside the city according to the Secretary of State’s scathing assessment.

Broomfield officials have refused to turn over easily accessible data that is by law publicly available.  After weeks of stalling and refusal by the city, BBEC filed legal action earlier this week to force the city to release the information.

“There is much more that Broomfield citizens deserve to know about this election,” Nikkel said.  “We are carefully evaluating the option of filing an election challenge, and again demand that the city turn over election information that is vital to assessing the true extent of the improprieties that have occurred.”

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2 Responses to Despite Widespread Errors, Controversy, Broomfield Frack Ban Recount Certified

  1. concerned
    December 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Reminds me of the scene in Citizen Kane — two headlines prepared in advance — “Kane Wins” read one “Fraud at the Polls” the other. Bottom line a very conservative Republican candidate was elected Mayor of Broomfield while the pro-fracking people ran a lousy campaign and want to blame everyone but themselves. It was a lousy result but that is how democracy sometimes works.

    • Tim
      December 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Great comment about Citizen Kane.


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