Monday, September 28, 2015

Bruce loses on ballot wording

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Bruce: Another defeat. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Bruce: Another defeat.
Douglas Bruce lost his quest to remove language from the November 3 ballot that promotes the city's sales tax ballot measure when the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal filed last week.

Here's some background on the matter.

This release was sent out by El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman:

The Colorado Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal filed by Mr. Douglas Bruce to overturn a lower court ruling regarding 2015 Coordinated Election ballot content.

On September 18, 4th Judicial District Court Judge Barbara Hughes heard arguments regarding a lawsuit Mr. Bruce filed against the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Mr. Bruce contested whether the Clerk’s Office should print the full ballot content for Issues 2C and 2D as delivered and certified to him by the City of Colorado Springs. The El Paso County Attorney’s Office—acting as counsel for the Clerk and Recorder’s Office—filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The request was made on the grounds that Mr. Bruce needed to enjoin the City of Colorado Springs and that the statutory timeframe to challenge the ballot content had passed. Judge Hughes, after hearing oral arguments, granted the County’s motion to dismiss and subsequently dismissed the suit. Mr. Bruce indicated that he would appeal.

“I take my responsibility to uphold the Constitution seriously,” Broerman said after the initial ruling. “That is why I carefully reviewed Mr. Bruce’s arguments as well as the authority granted to me by the law. After that review, I didn’t believe I had any legal basis to change the ballot. The court validated that view.”

Mr. Bruce subsequently filed his appeal with the Colorado State Supreme Court last week. At 11:35 a.m. on Friday, September 25, the County Attorney’s Office received word that the Colorado State Supreme Court declined Mr. Bruce’s petition.

“We are pleased to have finality in this case,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “As we move ahead with our preparations for the 2015 Coordinated Election, it is reassuring to know there won’t be any last minute changes to the ballot that could disenfranchise voters. With this issue behind us, we strongly encourage all citizens to study the issues and make informed choices in this year’s election.”
Asked about the court's refusal to hear the case, Bruce told the Indy, "There's no longer any limit on what the government can put on the ballot. The way the matter stands now, next year the government can print ballots and say, 'Vote for the incumbent. He's a family man.' The only thing on the ballot should be the name of the candidate and the wording of the ballot title. They're saying you can put in all this stuff about how wonderful things will be if you vote for this tax increase. They can campaign on the physical ballot. I don't think there's a state in the country that allows that."

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