Jonathan Lockwood
Communications Director

When Democrats lose, they change the rules
Democrats retaliate against Coloradans with unconstitutional “recall bill”
DENVER (March 21, 2014)—Today, the Democrat-controlled Senate State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 158, which seeks to substantially change Colorado’s fair recall elections process.

Senate Bill 158, the “recall bill,” is an attempt to amend voting processes outlined in the Colorado Constitution. The Colorado Constitution allows candidates to petition onto the recall ballot 15 days before Election Day, which basically nullified a mail-vote for last year’s recalls. The bill, however, changes the 15-day rule by redefining “Election Day” as the first day of voting.

“When the Democrats lose, they change the rules to benefit their candidates,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “If Democrats want to change the Constitution they need to go to the people.”

Article XXI, adopted in 1912 by Colorado voters, provides Coloradans the right to recall state officials. Section 4 of the article explains the article does not need any laws to be implemented. Instead, the article is “self-executing” meaning that no laws should get in the way of the recall process and Coloradans expressing their rights.

This controversial “recall bill” comes just after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed another elections law change, House Bill 1164. The measure was pushed as a “fix” to problems created by last year’s House Bill 1303 and aligns residency requirements, for municipal, special district and school board elections, with the state-level 22-day residency requirement.

The 22-day residency requirement came as a result of last year’s election law change, HB 1303, which permitted same-day voter registration and required that all voters receive a mail ballot.

Last year, Colorado voters successfully recalled Democratic state Sens. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. Following the recalls, state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, resigned to avoid facing her recall election and in her place was appointed her former campaign manager now-state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger.