(DENVER) – Recent developments in the municipal election in Erie, Colorado have been flagged by news outlets and blogs across the state. Things in the town’s election have gone so sideways Town Clerk, Nancy Parker, resigned her post of 12 years. These occurrences have taken place in the midst of questions about the election, the selection of ballot order, and general collusion with her favored anti-growth candidates.
Although the Weld County DA investigated Erie’s issues and found no basis to press criminal charges, a recent article by the Boulder Daily Camera outlines the upsetting fact pattern. The Town Clerk, Nancy Parker, abruptly and without the required 24 hours notice, changed the date of the candidate drawing to determine ballot order without providing proper notice, and when the secret drawing occurred which she used differently sized slips of paper with the candidate names. The ballot order then coincidentally favored the candidate with whom Parker had a well-documented personal friendship.
After questions were raised with Parker, she abruptly resigned.
Quotes from the Camera piece paint the picture of a town in turmoil:
“This is a sad episode for the town,” Town Administrator A.J. Krieger wrote in an email to town leaders. “I think we look bad — or at least could look bad — and it’s totally unnecessary.”
The investigation likely stems from actions in January when Parker moved up the date of the traditional ballot drawing from Jan. 31 to Jan. 23 without giving 24-hour notice to candidates.
“I find several aspects of this to be unsettling,” Krieger wrote. “Not the least of which is that, for no specific reason other than she could, the town clerk changed the date that had been disseminated.
“The arbitrary nature of the date change and unusually short notice to the candidates just looks bad and I think raises questions we shouldn’t have to deal with.”
Colorado Peak Politics has posted pictures of the slips of paper used for the impromptu ballot-setting drawing.
“The shenanigans surrounding this election show just how desperate some people are to further the anti-growth candidates,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “This type of scandal is best suited to political television dramas, not the municipalities of Colorado.”