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Recall election set, impact uncertain

Ballots mailed:

Aug. 19

Election:

Sept 10

The recall election approved by a Denver district judge for State Sen. Angela Giron will take place on September 10.

Ballots for the election will be mailed Aug. 19 to Pueblo county voters. However, voters may surrender their ballot and vote in person at the election office, Pueblo West library, the state fair events center, or the Pueblo West Metro Office on election day.

New legislation that has changed the voting process will be in effect for the election.

Colorado House Bill 1303, sponsored by Giron, changes the voting process for all elections. Now, instead of voters going to their precinct to vote, they must vote by mail or turn over their ballot at service centers on election day.

Other changes in the voting system include same day voting registration. A valid Colorado driver’s license or state issued ID is needed to register.

Because the election is via mail, it is preferred they either mail in their ballots before Sept. 4 or turn them into a voting service and polling center on the date of the election.

“It’s not that we won’t get them if they’re mailed after (Sept. 4), I would just feel better if they walked them in after that point,” said Gilbert Ortiz, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder.  

Besides new voting procedure, Ortiz said it is important for voters to know there are two parts to the ballot.

“Its really crucial for all voters to understand that if they don’t vote for the recall then they can’t vote for the successor,” said Ortiz, “voters sometimes undervote.”

Skipping the recall question means the vote for a successor would be invalid and not counted.

Numbers are subject to change but 38,264 Democrats, 19,054 Republicans, 23,778 unaffiliated and 724 third party voters will receive ballots, according to Ortiz.

The cost of running the recall election is $180,000, and while there are no extra costs associated with a recall election, it is an additional election that is largely unplanned. Preparations for the Nov. 5 election began in December whereas only 60 days are available to organize a recall election.  

“When we look at the cost breakdown for the Nov. 5 election the costs will be about the same,” said Ortiz.

Colorado Senate Distrcit 3 includes the city limits of Pueblo and Pueblo West. Not included are Buelah or eastern Pueblo County.  

Giron is facing the recall election after a committee headed by Victor Head started a recall process because of Giron’s support for anti-gun legislation earlier this year.

The committee to recall Giron between gathered at least 11,285 signatures. The total number of votes cast in the previous election dictates the number of signatures required. The committee recalling a candidate must collect at least 25 percent of those total votes to move on to the recall process.

by  Kara Mason

Voting Locations

For Information go to PuebloVotes.com

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Written by Kara Mason

Profile photo of Kara Mason

Kara Mason is PULP's news editor. She is also the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter president. Kara freelances for other regional publications, covering government, politics and the environment.

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