Newsletter 7 (August 1, 2013)

Colorado Approval Voting Friend,

Life is good; tough, but good.

Colorado State Senate. Senator Balmer's Senate Bill 13-065, Allow Approval Voting [in] Nonpartisan Elections, was submitted January 16th. The bill was enabling legislation for statutory municipalities and special districts to use Approval Voting if they wanted to. The bill died in the State, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on February 6th. A Denver clerk employee spoke against the bill; she mistook “Letting the voter vote for as many candidates as the voter approves of.” She interpreted “candidates” as as being anyone, potentially an infinite (6.5 billion) number of write ins. Subsequently, see Littleton election commission below, three county clerks, Jefferson, Douglas and Arapahoe, have acknowledged that there would be no additional cost to conduct Approval Voting elections.

Outreach. Group briefings and short discussions of Approval Voting took place at Charlotte's Tea Party on June 7 and at Littleton Pub on July 20. A booth at the Western Conservative Summit provided attendees with a straw poll opportunity to vote using both conventional and Approval Voting for 2014 Governor's race. Not surprisingly, for this crowd, Congressman Tancredo closely edged out Secretary of State Gessler. The convention conducted a 2016 presidential straw poll having about two dozen candidates, and numerous individuals wished they could have used Approval Voting. Speakers and exhibitors can be obtained by calling 720/260-1493.

Littleton Election Commission. On July 6 and 27, the Littleton Election Commission had public meetings on Approval Voting. The city charter authorizes the Election Commission to determine the voting method. The Commission consists of the City Clerk and two citizens appointed by City Council. The City Clerk expressed dire concerns and trepidations with being tasked to conduct an Approval Voting election without Secretary of State guidance and un-educated voters. SB 13-065 bill would have generated SoS guidance. Currently, voters are educated about voting for as many candidates as there are open seats from the ballot's instructions: “Vote for two.” Again, tough results, the motion to use Approval Voting failed, 1-2, but with warm invitation to comeback and discuss more. I consider this loss to be a draw.

Frank Atwood