DENVER — Voters in Senate District 3 will be able to start casting ballots in a recall election against Sen. Angela Giron starting Friday, FOX31 Denver has confirmed.
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz has decided to open an early voting center at his office on Friday after a Denver Judge settled the remaining questions over new rules for the looming recall elections in court.
He’ll open 10 other early voting locations on Sept. 5 that will remain open through the Sept. 10 election.
“Today is a good day for voters,” Ortiz said. “This will free up access to the polls for voters, apply fair rules on residency requirements to vote and cut down on lines between through September 10.”
Giron, a Democrat, faces a recall from constituents upset by her support of stronger gun control laws, as does Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
Ortiz, a Democrat, is able to go ahead with early voting mostly because the recall ballot in S.D. 3 is set.
In Morse’s district, El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams, a Republican, couldn’t start early voting if he wanted to because of a Libertarian candidate’s ongoing challenge of the Secretary of State’s decision earlier this week ruling their petitions insufficient to qualify for the ballot.
The early voting center opening Friday is located at 720 North Main Street in Pueblo.
Republican George Rivera is challenging Giron; in Colorado Springs, Bernie Herpin is the GOP candidate on the recall ballot to succeed Morse.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office told FOX31 it has no problem with Ortiz’s decision to open early voting centers.
But Gessler was disappointed in Judge Robert McGahey’s rulings Thursday morning throwing out his proposed rules for the recall: one which requires limited access for mail ballots; and another that would have required voters to declare their intent to make the address on their voter registration form their permanent address to prevent so-called gypsy voters.
“Despite this office’s best efforts to protect the elections, today a judge only compounded the problems,” Gessler said in a statement. “Nonetheless, we are determined to have a successful election. I will be sending a full-time observer to help resolve the problems in Pueblo, and we will also be sending staff to assist the El Paso recall election.”
Democrats called the residency proposal an overreach.
“Determining eligibility to vote based on an individual’s intent to do or not do something in the future was a standard that was impossible to enforce,” said House Majority Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. “It would have placed an undue burden on military families and students, and I’m glad the judge torpedoed Secretary Gessler’s latest overreach.”
McGahey also ruled that a yellow postcard Ortiz had already mailed to registered voters can be used as a form of identification at the polls.