DENVER (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a last-minute warning Monday against any attempts to disrupt Colorado’s first legislative recall election.
In a statement, Hickenlooper said that there have been disturbing reports of people going to the polls not to vote but to “disrupt the process.”
“We urge the county clerks in Pueblo and El Paso counties to make clear that people engaged in attempting to disrupt the elections are open to criminal prosecution. We’ve also reached out to the attorney general to help us ensure fair elections take place this week,” he said.
Spokesman Eric Brown said that there have been reports of people asking for ballots but walking away without casting them in El Paso and Pueblo counties. He said the missing ballots could be used as a reason to challenge the results of the election.
El Paso County clerk’s spokesman Ryan Parsell said he wasn’t aware of any such problems there.
In Pueblo County, three people apparently didn’t cast ballots after being given cards to activate electronic machines on Saturday, clerk Gilbert Ortiz said. The problem was caught during a routine audit of the number of people signed in to vote and the number of votes cast. As a result, Ortiz said voting judges starting inserting the cards into voting machines for voters on Sunday.
Hickenlooper’s statement came two days after Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute changed his residency so he could vote in the recall election of Senate President John Morse in Colorado Springs but Brown said the statement wasn’t aimed at him. Caldara said he was trying to make a point that a new election law passed by Democrats and signed into law by Hickenlooper in May changed residency requirements. Brown said he didn’t have comment on what Caldara did.
– By Colleen Slevin, AP Writer
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