Jonathan Lockwood
Communications Director

Can Coloradans trust Hickenlooper to keep his word?
Controversial elections bill headed to Gov. Hickenlooper
DENVER (February 17, 2013) —Last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper sent mixed messages on whether he would sign House Bill 1164, the controversial elections-law measure. The measure was given final approval in the House today after a tough week in the Senate.

Hickenlooper told commissioners from five eastern counties he wouldn’t sign legislation passed without all interested parties had their voices heard. Yet, after a series of Republican amendments offered to make HB 1164 more palatable to both parties were largely rejected, it was clear the bill still had fundamental flaws. Hickenlooper then told the Colorado Municipal League that Coloradans could expect a “prompt signature” on HB 1164.

“This bill is inherently unfair because of the way it restructures our elections and yet Democrats refused to make any real compromises with Republicans. It’s been marketed as a fix to House Bill 13-1303, but its like pouring gasoline on a fire,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “Gov. Hickenlooper can’t have it both ways – promising to stand up to the radicals in his own party, yet refusing again to be firm and veto a huge and flawed overhaul of the election system.”

The controversy surrounding the bill has escalated during its debate similar to another elections-law passed last year. Last year’s House Bill 1303 permitted same-day voter registration and required that all voters receive a mail ballot. The bill also created a 22-day residency requirement causing conflict between state- and local-level elections.

As an attempted solution to the conflict, this year’s HB 1164 aligns residency requirements, for municipal, special district and school board elections, with the state-level 22-day residency requirement.

House Bill 1164 fails, however, to address the real concerns with HB 13-1303, and, instead, extends those concerns to additional elections. The measure eliminates local control and opens the door to voter fraud.