Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Collins recall petitions are faulty, citizen alleges

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge Citizen Robert Blancken says the petitions to recall Helen Collins are riddled with errors and should be rejected. - LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
  • League of Women Voters
  • Citizen Robert Blancken says the petitions to recall Helen Collins are riddled with errors and should be rejected.
Tuesday afternoon, long-time Springs resident Robert Blancken filed a challenge to the recall petitions that seek ouster of southeast District 4 City Councilor Helen Collins, adding further intrigue to a process that has been marked by surprises. ("Keeping recalls weird," Feb. 18, 2015)

Elected in 2013, Collins is conservative and opposed the stormwater fee proposal on November's election, just like a majority of voters in her district. Yet, a coalition led by former Harrison District 2 board chair Deborah Hendrix complained that Collins didn't support the stormwater fee. They also said she doesn't representing her district's views and has associated with convicted felons and tax cheats. (Hendrix herself has had issues with her taxes. "Glass meets stone," Jan. 7, 2015)

Blancken writes in a news release that he wants City Clerk Sarah Johnson to recuse herself from the protest process, because she "hastily certified a petition which is in violation of City Charter and of any reasonable rules of certification" and shouldn't preside over a process that "would allow her to justify her questionable methods of certification."

He seeks a hearing on his protest, which is based on signatures that don't meet the city's requirements, such as that the petitions didn't have the proper "headers" of signatures, name and address.

His arguments, which included a challenge of allowing out-of-state residents to circulate the petitions, can be found here:


Among his many reasons for protesting is that Aaron Ellis, who notarized 1,293 signatures that were verified as valid by Johnson, wasn't a valid notary at the time, because he had changed his address in September but didn't change the address on his notary authorization.

Blancken also argues that some signatures were accompanied by addresses that are no longer the addresses of the signatories, and that many signatures were accompanied by invalid zip codes. He says petitioners either included no zip code, put the wrong zip code on the petition, or the zip code was added later by a party who was not the signatory.

We've asked Johnson to explain the process for consideration of Blancken's protest but haven't heard back. We'll circle back if and when we hear from her.

Here is Blancken's news release:

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