Grand Lake’s voter investigation casts pall over election
September 11, 2008
To the Editor:
Over a month after making the announcement, the names of the seven Grand Lake registered voters have been forwarded to the district attorney’s office, along with an affidavit creating a formal charge of improper registration. Presumably the seven don’t know who they are, and won’t, until they are served with a warrant and dragged off to jail … well, maybe just summoned.
Quoting from the Town Attorney’s memo to the Grand Lake Trustees, dated April 21, “A person’s residence is the place where they reside, or the place to which to return when they are gone, regardless of how long they are gone. In general, the courts have been unwilling to find that a person’s residence is not where they say it is. For example, an issue similar to Grand Lake’s arose when someone challenged whether a trustee candidate was a resident of Telluride. The candidate had taken a job in New York, moved to New York changed her driver’s license to New York and paid taxes in New York. Nonetheless, the Colorado Court upheld the trial court’s determination that the candidate was still a resident of Colorado because she testified that she considered Colorado her residence and the place to which she intended to return.”
This makes Kathy Weydert’s claim (letter to the editor, Sept. 3) that the legal voter must reside within the town limits questionable at best since “reside” could mean most anything and does not specify a length of time. Weydert’s interpretation of the law doesn’t appear to reflect the intent of the law. Nonetheless, I’m sure we all agree with her wholeheartedly that every legally registered voter should get out and vote.
For all her scrutiny of the registered voter list, the town clerk seems to have ignored specific instances that I have discovered while canvassing the town. These include the fellow who moved away two years ago, the gentleman who lives on a vacant lot and the woman who apparently dwells in the town pump house. That said, it is only fair to say that none of these voted, and there seems to be no quick and easy means of removing all obsolete names from voter lists.
Why are we holding this election hostage to such a meaningless investigation? And why did the town clerk wait until now, a little more than two weeks before the election, to submit these names? This continues to cast a pall over the electoral process in Grand Lake.