Check out this Buzzfeed article on 5 myths that have been perpetuated about the new voter access law.
On Monday, we hosted our District 11 School Board Candidate Forum. The forum was a wonderful success with many community members in attendance providing excellent questions for the candidates to answer. Joe Cole moderated the discussion with candidates Charlie Bobbitt, Al Loma, LuAnn Long, Jim Mason, Linda Mojer, and Jim Tucker.
The discussion was live-tweeted using #CPforum and you can go to Citizens Project’s twitter to see the tweeted recap. Questions asked included “Are you for or against am 66. Why or why not? If not, what could be added to improve it?” This question resulted in strong opinions from many candidates from both sides. Other questions included “D11 typically loses more student annually than others, how would you make D11 more competitive and reverse the trend?” and “What should be the role of federal and state government in local schools?”
Thank you to all our sponsors, candidates, community attendees, and our moderator from FOX 21, Joe Cole. Now it’s your turn to get out and VOTE!
From a young age, most American citizens have spent hours in classrooms and social situations being told how important it is to vote. We are not as frequently reminded of how important it is to make an informed vote. That is why, for the past 21 years, Citizens Project has been providing the Colorado Springs community with nonpartisan voter guides for local elections to help you make an informed decision.
Your vote is your voice in our governance and our future. At Citizens Project, we believe that school board elections are among the most important, and sometimes these races come down to a mere 100 or 200 votes. Therefore, your vote is important and your voice counts in making governance work. Educating yourself on issues and candidates is essential to the efficacy and legitimacy of the principles on which our nation was founded. We invite you to read up and vote in the upcoming election!
By Warren Epstein, Citizens Project Board Member
So, we kicked the bums out.
Senators John Morse and Angela Giron got their walking papers, thanks to an unprecedented $200,000-plus special recall election (they’re calling it “Colorado’s total recall”) that drew a sparse 20 percent of the electorate, a fraction of those who vote in regular elections.
This was mostly a symbolic victory, of course. The new pro-gun senators will face a still Democratic-controlled legislature, and it’s unlikely they will be able to kill the offending gun bill that made Morse and Giron targets of the gun lobby.
Still, what’s happened here is the birth of a new political weapon, one that can be wielded by both political parties. It’s a tool tailor made for extremists on the left and right. Clearly, offending politicians don’t have to break the law. They don’t have to embroil themselves in scandal. They merely need to upset a fringe group.
Then, the fringe group raises a bunch of money, calls a special election, and hopes that, once again, the middle stays home.
I’d like to take a moment to speak up for the middle. Granted, the center place between two extremes is not always where truth lies. Sometimes both sides are asking the wrong questions. But something important does lie in the middle.
It’s become a dirty word in our don’t-blink partisan politics. But in the middle, you’ll often find reason.
Most people I know think the gun debate is about two words: yes or no.
You’re for gun control or against it.
Morse and Giron, like most Colorado senators and our governor, passed a bill that explored a place in the middle that looked at background check loopholes and large ammo magazines. It wasn’t about going door to door, rounding up your guns.
The “no” people don’t want to hear about it. They don’t want to hear about what some people call “reasoned compromise” about gun control. For them, the only kind of good gun control is dead gun control.
But let’s back up a bit and acknowledge that both sides really do want the same thing: more security, more safety.
Both sides have “beliefs” about how to get there, and there are relevant questions on both sides:
Does gun control actually work? (Usually not.)
Does a focus on governmental and societal solutions take the responsibility away from the individual? You know, guns don’t kill people. People… Yeah, whatever.
OK, but here’s the truth of the matter that no politician will admit: We don’t know. We have some studies and history to examine, but case studies won’t serve as absolute predictors of what course will lead to a more safe and secure country.
Here’s another truth: without new restrictions, guns will grow more abundant and more deadly.
Gun sales have never been higher, and technology, unrestricted, will transform what we now call “guns” into weapons of mass destruction. Consider that modern guns already bear little resemblance to what our founding fathers were talking about when they framed the 2nd Amendment.
Those who give an absolute “no” to even discussions about gun control must acknowledge that we’re already involved in that conversation, and we’ve already agreed to certain compromises. Try to get a stockpile of fully automatic weapons or a rocket launcher for home use. It’s easier to get Bruce Springsteen to sing at your kid’s bar mitzvah.
Even the most extreme pro-gun folks would acknowledge that those restrictions make sense.
As the technology of guns continues to grow in lethality, isn’t it our obligation as citizens to continually engage in this discussion? To look for the reasonable middle?
The middle, what middle there is on such a divisive topic, sat out this special election.
We can’t afford to have them sit out many more.
For more detailed information, check our 2013 Senate District 11 Recall Election Page!
As we hope you’ve heard, there will be a special election this September for residents in Colorado Senate District 11, and it will be an unusual election and ballot for several reasons. Read on to learn everything you need to know to cast an informed vote.
The ballot, demystified:
There will be two questions on the ballot. This election is a recall election and the primary item for consideration will be whether to recall Senator John Morse. There will also be a secondary question about who should replace Morse if he is recalled.
There will be a lot of material on the ballot. One of the things that make this election so unique is that the ballot will include language from both recall initiators and John Morse, the recall candidate. You’ll have the opportunity to read – and weigh – both arguments before casting your vote.
A yes vote on the first question means you want to recall John Morse.
A no vote on the first question means you do not want to recall John Morse.
The second question, addresses who should replace John Morse if he is recalled, and includes the opportunity to vote for a write-in candidate. Due to a recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling, it is not necessary to vote on the first question in order to vote on the second question. Your vote on the second question has no effect on your vote for the first question.
Please keep in mind that this is an official election, and the results of this ballot will determine the outcome, even if only a small fraction of the electorate votes. Not voting does not mean status quo. Please make your voice heard.
Find a copy of the sample ballot here.
The impact of new state voting laws on the process:
The election, which was originally intended to be an all-mail process, will now be held at polling places due to another recent court decision allowing candidates extra time to gather signatures. Ballots will not be certified until after August 26, when signatures are due. As of August 29th, however, all residents may request an absentee mail ballot if the request is submitted by 4:59 pm on Tuesday, September 3rd.
There will be voting centers, and additional locations due to the court decision and the resulting necessity of physical polling places. The identified locations at present are:
200 S. Cascade Ave
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Offices – Citizens Service Center
1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd., Ste 2202
Powers and Airport DMV Center (Southeast Branch)
5650 Industrial Place
North Union Town Center
8830 N. Union Blvd
Zalman Center at Harrison High School
2755 Janitell Rd., 80910
Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
2880 International Cir., 80910
Manitou Springs City Hall (weather permitting)
606 Manitou Ave., 80829
The hours for voting are as follows:
Thursday, September 5: 8-5, Four Clerk’s Offices
Friday, September 6: 8-5, Four Clerk’s Offices (extended hours will be offered at three locations – read more here)
Saturday, September 7: 8-5, Four Clerk’s Offices
Monday, September 9: 8-5, Four Clerk’s Offices + Zalman Center (Harrison School District), Regional Building Department, and Manitou Springs City Hall (extended hours will be offered at three locations – read more here)
Tuesday, September 10: 7-7, Four Clerk’s Offices + Zalman Center (Harrison School District), Regional Building Department, and Manitou Springs City Hall
Remember: This election is different in that you may register to vote anytime up to and including Election Day. You may register and vote in person at one of the voting center locations on or before election day.
Mail Ballot Requests and Regulations:
Mail ballots must be received by 7:00 pm on election day, September 10th. UOCAVA voters will be provided an extra eight days for ballots to be received, as long as the ballot is postmarked by September 10th at 7 pm.
Emergency Mail Ballot Application – For voters who cannot go to a polling center because they are confined to a hospital or place of residence – or – a member of the voter’s immediate family in the second degree is confined to a hospital or place of residence may receive electronic ballots. (Application explains “second degree”.) Voted ballots must be received electronically by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, September 10.
Absentee Mail Ballot Request – All voters can request an absentee mail ballot, but the request must be received by September 3rd at 4:59 pm. The ballot must be turned into the office of the County Clerk and Recorder by 7:00 pm on September 10th. (A link to this request form will be posted as soon as it is provided by the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder)
For a copy of our Action Alert containing this information, click here.
The application should be faxed to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office at 719-520-7327 or emailed to [email protected].
To view recall election rules, click here. Note that rule 32.7 has been updated temporarily for this particular election.
You may contact Just Vote Colorado if you have trouble casting your ballot, registering to vote, or if you have Election Day questions.
We need your help in Get-Out-the-Vote efforts for the upcoming Senate District 11 Recall Election. GOTV efforts are particularly important, because this election is unlike any other past elections. We want to make sure all voters are well-informed about the recall election process and that they get the opportunity to vote. That’s why we’re asking you to join Citizens Project & the Pikes Peak Equality Coalition for our Get-Out-The-Vote postcard writing night!
Write to get out the vote: Join neighbors and friends as we write personal notes to remind people to fill out their ballots!
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Women’s Resource Agency, Citadel Mall
***NOTE: To ensure that voters get the best and most accurate information, the date of this event has been changed following an unprecedented court ruling allowing additional time for potential candidates to gather signatures for the recall ballot.
We are delighted to invite you to a volunteer open house at our office. Meet other supporters, hear about opportunities to get involved, and see where much of our work takes place! Please save the date and plan to join us!
5:00 until 6:30 pm
Citizens Project office at
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
If you’re interested in volunteering, but are unavailable to attend the open house, please email Kristy Milligan or call the office at (719) 520-9899.