“After Facing Numerous Recall Attempts, Democratic Lawmakers Want To Change Rules”

This story is out of Colorado, from the CPR News. Proponents assert that there are good government reasons for these changes. But the story notes that the vote in committee to report out this bill was on a straight party-line basis.

As voters have installed Democrats in the state’s top offices, conservative activists have increasingly turned to recalls to reverse the blue tide.

Gov. Jared Polis has been the target of two recall efforts, although neither turned in enough signatures to force an election. Groups also circulated recall petitions against two state senators in 2019, and they threatened to try to recall two representatives, too. Those efforts also fell short of the needed signatures. 

Now, as part of a larger election law “clean up” bill, lawmakers could change some of the rules for future recalls.

If the bill becomes law, recall petitions would be required to include an estimated cost of conducting a special election, as well as a statement from the official being targeted for recall, if they provide one.

“This is a big, disruptive force in our democratic process. I think it’s important that voters have, maybe not the full picture, but at least a sentence from both sides,” said Sen. Majority Leader Steve Fenburg, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It’s really just to make sure the information is out there, in that these recall efforts are being used for legitimate purposes and not for purely routine political attacks.”

The bill also bans recall efforts against an official whose office will be up for election within six months.

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