Grand Lake hasn’t handled voter list as well as it could have
August 8, 2008
To the Editor:
The Grand Lake town clerk announced that seven names from the list of registered voters have been or will be turned over to the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution for having voted in the April municipal election.
The town attorney said it’s not a formal challenge, which brings the question, “Why bother?” The April election was nullified. Why not merely notify the seven that their vote may be challenged in the Sept. 23 election and give them a chance to defend their status?
Several entities have addressed the issue of voter registration in the months since the mayoral election, expressing multiple opinions about what can or cannot be done and by whom. The net result of such a challenge has yet to be clearly delineated by anyone associated with the Secretary of State’s Office, the Grand County Clerk or the district attorney. The DA has already declined to act on a previous list.
As it stands, over 50 Grand Lake residents have been investigated, with contacts made in state and out, and seven names have been selected for legal action. Why must it be done this way?
Probably the inquiries did little or no harm to anyone’s reputation, but we don’t know that for certain. Were these residents given an opportunity to discuss their status with the town clerk, or even the town attorney?
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Normally, voters who maintain more than one residence are given considerable discretion in choosing which to designate as their official voting residence. The questions arise when they vote in more than one of their communities, or if they change registrations back and forth, selecting elections in which to participate. If those in charge of determining (and we’re still not 100 percent clear who that is supposed to be) find that is the case here, fine.
If not, because of the lack of transparency in the process, the whole thing appears to be an attempt to discourage qualified part-time residents from voting.