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El Paso County considers legal action to force Morse recall election

By Chris Loveless, Digital Content Director ,
Published On: Jul 16 2013 06:26:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 06:28:26 PM CDT

Sen. John Morse


An El Paso County spokesperson says that commissioners have authorized the county attorney’s office to take whatever appropriate legal action it finds necessary to assure that the recall election in State Senate District 11 can be conducted in a manner that assures compliance with all state election laws and to protect the rights of El Paso County voters.  

Senator John Morse faces recall for voting in favor of new gun regulations in Colorado.

The Colorado Secretary of State's office deemed the recall petitions for State Senate District 11 valid on June 18.

Subsequent challenges were addressed by the Secretary of State on July 3 and sent to the Governor on July 5. 

State law requires the Governor to order an election and set the date after receiving appropriate documentation from the Secretary of State.  
“We want to make it clear that we’re not taking any position in the election,” El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams said.  “But we need to have the date set so we can print and distribute the necessary number of mail ballots within the deadline windows required by law.”   

This will be the first election conducted under new laws passed by the Colorado General Assembly earlier this year. Williams says he's worried that the election process could be further complicated if it becomes necessary to get a court interpretation of conflicting or unclear provisions of that new legislation.   

In a news release, El Paso County argues that as a result of the governor’s delay in setting a date for the recall election, the only remaining feasible election date to comply with other statutory deadlines is September 3, 2013.  Williams says that is immediately following a three day weekend and Post Office holiday.

If no date has been set by July 20, 2013, the El Paso County Clerk will be asking for some form of judicial relief from the strict deadlines outlined in the Uniform Election Code.