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Decision on Morse, Giron recall petitions expected Wednesday

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Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, both face recall elections against them on Sept. 10.

DENVER — Colorado Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert is expected to issue her decision Wednesday as to whether the recall petitions targeting Senate President John Morse will be disqualified.

Facing a recall from constituents who don’t approve of the gun control measures he supported this year, Morse, D-Colorado Springs, has contested the recall petitions, arguing that they should be tossed because they don’t include language informing signers they’ll be forced to choose the lawmaker’s successor.

Staiert’s decision will likely apply to Morse’s protest and that from Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, the other lawmaker facing a recall for supporting the gun control legislation.

Mark Grueskin, the Democratic Party’s noted election law guru, appeared in person last week and spent four hours questioning the Secretary of State office staffers who handled the recall petitions and arguing on Morse’s behalf.

A similar hearing in Giron’s case had been set for Wednesday; but Grueskin has opted to forgo the official hearing and will submit a brief instead because the protest in the Giron recall is the exact same argument he made for Morse.

“It’s fair to assume the ruling will be the same in both cases,” said Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office. “Unless, of course, they have a new argument in the second case for us to consider that they didn’t present in the first.”

Grueskin may also file a new appeal now that volunteers working to help Morse avoid a recall have found at least 50 people who say petitions bearing their names were forged.

In that case, the Secretary of State could schedule a new hearing; but only the petitions determined to have been forged would be thrown out.

Ultimately, it’s likely that the fight over the two recalls will be decided in district court.