Loveland spokesman Tom Hacker said the city clerk’s office did not mail out ballots to military or overseas addresses because “there is no requirement for that.”
While federal election law requires ballots to be mailed to service members, and state law requires the same for state and county elections, the law does not apply to city elections, said Rich Coolidge, spokesman for the Secretary of State.
The June 24 special election on Question 1 is being administered by the Loveland city clerk’s office.
B.J. Nikkel, campaign director for the Loveland Energy Action Project, which is opposing Question 1, called the omission of military voters unfortunate.
“Our men and women in uniform deserve all due respect and should be afforded every opportunity to exercise their opinions at the ballot box, even in a local election, because they serve our country preserving that right,” said Nikkel.
She noted that the election is “very much about energy independence, so of course the men and women from Loveland who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines should be given every opportunity to have their say.”
Question 1 would impose a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in order for the city to “fully study” the process. The city council voted 5-4 to oppose the measure, which is also opposed by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the oil and gas industry.
The Loveland Reporter-Herald came out against Question 1 in a June 8 editorial headlined, “Moratorium is not merited in Loveland.”
Leading the campaign for Question 1 is Protect Our Loveland, a group of Loveland residents and area fracking activists backed by outside organizations such as Food and Water Watch.
The Loveland city clerk sent about 45,000 ballots to registered voters in the mail-in election. Of those, 3,000 have been returned as undeliverable, said Hacker.
He said he didn’t know how many military voters stationed overseas would have been otherwise eligible to vote in the election.