Bill Hopes To Kill Voter Suppression, Intimidation
DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado voters play an important role in the upcoming November election. That’s why one state lawmaker wants to make sure every voter is able to cast a ballot.
Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Democrat representing Denver, is sponsoring a bill that would make it a felony to deliberately deceive voters. Some examples are robo calls that provide the wrong voting place, flyers that announce the incorrect day to vote and other acts of voter suppression and intimidation.
On the eve of the 2008 election, hundreds of voters in Pueblo received a recorded phone call that stated their polling place had changed. Only later would those voters realize it was a con.
“Voter suppression has been a tactic for a long time. It used to be pretty blatant,” said Aguilar.
Now she believes it is more subtle and sophisticated.
“It goes both ways. It’s not one party more than the other,” said Aguilar.
Aguilar wants to make sure super rich superpacs don’t take dirty campaigning to a new level, especially in Colorado where the 2010 Senate race set new records for spending.
“In many ways the stakes in 2012 are even higher so I’m really concerned people will be tempted to do something nefarious here,” said Aguilar.
The bill would make voter deception a felony. It would also require the Attorney General and District Attorneys to notify the public when it happens.
“I think this will put us on the record saying we know this is happening, we’re keeping our eyes open for it and we will do our best to find you and charge you if you do this in our state,” said Aguilar.
The bill passed out of the state Senate Thursday on a party line vote. Now the measure heads to the state House for debate.