Recall election bill advances

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A bill that Democrats say would boost turnout in future recall elections passed a Senate committee on March 21, following a party-line vote.

The bill seeks to marry existing election statutes with language in the state Constitution. The two are at odds when it comes to the recall election process – something that was apparent during last year’s historic legislative recall elections.

The Constitution states that a candidate has up to 15 days prior to Election Day to submit enough signatures to appear on a recall ballot.

The Democrat-sponsored bill would require candidates to submit signatures 15 days prior to when ballots are made available to voters, which occurs long before the actual day of the election.

This became an issue in September, when county clerks handing recall elections in Colorado Springs and Pueblo weren’t able to mail ballots in time, which resulted in elections where voters could vote in person, the day of the election.

Democrats say the bill would give citizens more opportunities to vote. But Republicans blast the measure as unconstitutional.

The bill passed the Democrat majority Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, following a 3-2 vote.