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October 07, 2011 09:32 PM UTC

Veterans Group Condemns El Paso County "Inactive" Ballot Policy

  • by: Colorado Pols

Excerpt from a press release from a short while ago, opening a new front in the battle over mailing ballots to registered voters in Colorado marked “inactive” due to failure to vote in 2010–against a county clerk not involved in litigation, for withholding ballots from “inactive” military voters. As you know, that’s the status quo in most Colorado counties this year:


Colorado Springs, CO – A veterans group is today strongly condemning El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams’ decision to not send nearly 1000 election ballots to military members, despite the fact that his county has one of the highest military populations in the country.

Williams has held steadfast in his decision.  The Denver District court is hearing a case that could very well strike down a recent order from the Secretary of State to not send ballots to many registered voters. Yet, Williams has shown no willingness to change his mind on who receives ballots, no matter what the court decides.  Recently, he told The Pueblo Chieftain that sending ballots wasn’t “cost effective,” because some ballots in the past have not been used by those who received them.

“It’s not Wayne Williams’ job to estimate which members of our military will or will not likely vote in the upcoming election,” said Richard Allen Smith, Vice Chairman of, and an Afghanistan Veteran and Denver resident.  “It’s his job to ensure our troops are given every opportunity to vote.  His choice to not send ballots to hundreds of our troops, legally registered to vote in his county, is outrageous.  Clerk Williams likes to site the cost of sending out ballots to our troops as a reason to not send them.  Those of us who served in war would like to remind him that we’ve paid a much higher cost to protect that right to vote.”

El Paso Clerk Wayne Williams has been a reliable defender of Secretary of State Scott Gessler over more than this issue–you’ll recall that Gessler turned to Williams for backup after his push to “examine” the voter rolls for an unknown and dubious number of “illegal” voters met with pushback in the legislature. Williams told the Pueblo Chieftain recently that the rate of return for ballots in El Paso County mailed to “inactive” voters was very low, on the order of “1 in 1000”–a figure dismissed as absurdly, probably mendaciously low by just about everyone we’ve talked to.

So Williams can now share in Gessler’s soldier vote suppression glory! The shock value makes you famous, but we wouldn’t recommend this to politicians with, you know, career aspirations.

There seems to be some squeamishness about asking the next logical question here, folks. There are 64 counties in the state of Colorado, most of which are conducting all-mail elections this year, and only two of which are party (or seeking to be) to the litigation from Gessler. Who will be the next county clerk to defend denial of ballots to “inactive-failed to vote” voters?

How many soldiers in your county?


46 thoughts on “Veterans Group Condemns El Paso County “Inactive” Ballot Policy

  1. At least you’ve got me to set the record straight. VFW these jokers ain’t. is a left-wing liberal political action committee and 501c tax-exempt organization that works to undermine Republicans in Congress. Formed in 2006 over opposition to President George W. Bush policy in Iraq, it is actually a front group for the Democrat Party. Their stated mission reads, “which primarily helps elect Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran candidates and educates about veterans and military issues aimed at influencing the outcome of the next election.” [1] VoteVets operates the Vote Vets Action Fund. They want the world and the IRS to believe these are two separate and distinct organizations. VoteVets is immersed in the left-wing sphere of influence such as the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq coalition. [2] Associations and primary fundraisers include Democrats the DCCC, AFL-CIO and SEIU labor unions, the Center for American Progress,, Media Matters for America, many other Shadow party/George Soros backed organizations such as democratic donors and operatives Fund for America, run by John Podesta.

    Poor readers. Why doesn’t Pols tell you the truth about the people they cite?

      1. that A-GOP has yet to join the discussion on the Gessler v. Denver thread? Interesting – he’s usually a part of every diary that’s been posted about it.

      2. Creation science asserts that the biblical account, that dinosaurs were created on day 6 of creation[3] approximately 6,000 years ago, along with other land animals, and therefore co-existed with humans, thus debunking the Theory of Evolution and the beliefs of evolutionary scientists about the age of the earth.

        Creation science shows that dinosaurs lived in harmony with other animals, (probably including in the Garden of Eden) eating only plants[4]; that pairs of each dinosaur kind were taken onto Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood and were preserved from drowning[5]; that many of the fossilized dinosaur bones originated during the mass killing of the Flood[6]; and that possibly some descendants of those dinosaurs taken aboard the Ark are still around today.[7]

    1. They are vets who have served their country and just because they aren’t as conservative as some other vets organizations doesn’t make them any less worthy of respect. They’ve simply noticed who really supports vets with legislation and funding for them and who doesn’t and offer support in return accordingly.  

      Jokers? My husband happens to be a progressive, a supporter of VoteVets and a combat vet, a swift boat vet to be precise, and you are a worthless little piece of crap in my book from now on. It would be fun to see you call one of our honored vets a “joker” to his or her face but you’d never have the stones. Don’t expect another reply from me to anything more you have to say, ever.  

      1. My point was simply that these are not impartial actors. If my usage of the word “jokers” is offensive, please accept my apology.

        But these are partisan actors, and their partisanship clouds their accusation. I do stand behind that.

        1. These are not “actors.” These are war veterans that served in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect this country. To protect me. To protect you. To protect your right to be an obnoxious asshole.

          Everyone in this country is entitled to an opinion–even veterans. Everyone in this country is entitled to be partisan, to have a view that contradicts yours or mine.

          Ain’t freedom of speech grand?  

            1. If I seem bitter to you, perhaps you are projecting your own misery, which seems to seep through virtually every comment you make on this site.

              Your apology sucked and you aren’t even man enough to admit it. And that’s pathetic. Which is even sadder than being bitter, little buddy.  

        2. But these are partisan actors, and their partisanship clouds their accusation. I do stand behind that.

          Williams and Gessler are partisan actors, and their partisanship clouds their approach to elections.

    2. And they still deserve our best efforts, especially when it comes to their voting rights while they’re deployed and may have other things on their mind besides correcting our state’s over-eager categorization of them as “inactive”.

      1. There is no achievement so honorable, no patriotic act so noble, that it can’t be invalidated by one’s liberalism. That’s the Republican message.

        1. They are “jokers” because they aren’t conservatives.

          Conservative vets advocating for conservative positions are the only “real” vets in some tiny minds. Calling men and women “jokers” who have put their lives on the line for their country in an all volunteer force, some of them surviving with severe wounds and permanent disabilities, can’t be apologised (if-anyone-finds-this-offensive) away. The thinking of it and saying of it can’t be unthought or unsaid. Period.

            1. Instead of “jokers,” now they’re “actors.” Not honorable veterans, equal in standing and achievement as those who join more conservative groups.

      1. The bottom feeding little Borg brat doesn’t need to think.  He just needs to know R or D, conservative or progressive to know what he thinks about any individual, group, organization, proposal, plan or piece of legislation. Good thing because he’s too stupid to think and too ignorant and misinformed to have anything solid around which to formulate thoughts.

        If you got your legs blown off for your country and subsequently started supporting Dems because they try to vote you a better funded VA while Rs continually cry that we can’t afford you because that would mean cutting some benefits for the rich and benefits for them are a much higher priority than benefits for you, you are a “joker”. As long as you appear in support of a Tea Party R candidate, you are, instead, a hero.  It’s so simple.  And when you’re dumb as a bag of rocks, you need simple.

  2. For instance today I learned . . .

    Essay:Best New Conservative Words

    Each year the English language develops about a thousand new words. The King James Version of the Bible contains only about 8,000 different words;[1] many good words have since developed.

    Conservative terms, expressing conservative insights, originate at a faster rate, and with much higher quality, than liberal terms. Conservative triumph over liberalism is thus inevitable.

    Powerful new conservative terms have grown at a geometric rate, roughly doubling every century. For each new conservative term originating in the 1600s,[2] there are two new terms originating in the 1700s, four new terms in the 1800s, and eight new terms in the 1900s, for a pattern of “1-2-4-8”. This implies a conservative future and a correlation between conservatism and truth.

    . . . about the undisputable and carefully proven inevitability of conservative thought,  Gads.

    I would have never known, for instance, that “hypothesis” is a “conservative word.”

    Deep, deep intellectualism here.  Thanks again brainiac, you’ve given me hope for our side . . . and the biggest gut laugh of this week.  

        1. And apparently free of context. Right below what you quoted:


          According to evolutionists, close to 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, and the beginning of what is called the Tertiary period, an event occurred which has come to be known as the K-T Event. This event would have obliterated most life on Earth, plunging the world into something that would now be likened to global nuclear winter, through which few extant species could survive. Although these scientists dispute the nature of the K-T Event (selecting among any number of catastrophes that could have caused the significant global cooling that resulted), most find that the claimed K-T Event was caused by the collision of a massive asteroid with the Earth, the dust and debris from which would have shrouded the sky for thousands of years, cooling Earth considerably.[34] According to this view, the dinosaurs did not survive this cataclysm.[35] A layer of rock containing high concentrations of Iridium, a metal that is extremely rare on earth but common in asteroids, is said to be due to the vaporization and then fall of dust from the meteorite’s impact, and its compression within the subsequent geological record.[36]The evidence of a large impact crater can be found in rocks of the YucatГЎn Peninsula of the supposed age of this layer.[37] [38] Creationists assert that the assumptions underpinning the methods used by modern geologists are incorrect, and even though the validity of a large impact is accepted, this does not consitute proof that the impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs-although the abundance of dinosaur fossils in rocks found higher in the rock layers than the impact is drastically less than their abundance in rocks lower down.[Citation Needed]

          An Explosion of new species

          Evolutionists speculate that a mass extinction of the dinosaurs removed a major food competitor, and predator, of smaller animals. As a result of a new “vacancy” in the food chain, following the K-T Event, it is theorized that vast speciation occurred, as the evolutionary pressure of a new cold age propelled animal species to adapt or die out. According to this view, mammals were some of the main beneficiaries of this explosion: their fur allowed them to adapt to the cold, and their small size allowed them to conserve energy relative to the huge dinosaurs of the previous age.[39]

          Dinosaurs and Birds

          As a number of feathered fossils (claimed to be dinosaurs) have been discovered, and evolutionary scientists claim the similarity in the bone structure between birds and dinosaurs show that modern birds are a descendants of dinosaurs. This is often cited as an example of macroevolution.[40]

          It’s not the way I would write either but as you can see, they do provide both sides. What’s your point?

          1. under ‘History of the Dinosaurs’ is about two of each being on Noah’s Ark.  Call me skeptical, but I don’t accept the source as credible.  

            Here’s their lead paragraph on global warming:

            Global warming is the now-discredited theory that the world is becoming dangerously warmer…

            Put another way, liberals concocted a theory of man-made global warming to justify demands for a more powerful government.

            Yeah,that’s a balanced presentation.  A ‘liberal concocted’ and ‘now discredited’ theory…

            Meanwhile, over at evolution…

            second paragraph:

            Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[6] In 2007, “Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture…announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.”[7]

            Intelligent design, however is ‘verifiable:

            Intelligent design (ID) is the empirically testable[1] theory that the natural world shows signs of having been designed by a purposeful, intelligent cause.

          2. There are simply scientists.

            Evolution isn’t an “ism.”  It’s a fact.

            On the other hand, there are Creationists, who deny the facts.

            You might find a more receptive audience on some other blog where people who read and post have lower IQs.

            You’re not going to sell that bullshit here.

          3. LOL. This article is loaded with weasel words. “Evolutionists?” Who are they? Like Ralphie says, there are only biologists. “Speculated?” No, the term is “theorize.”

            There was a time when I thought that maybe you were that all too rare specimen – a conservative with whom I can respectfully disagree. But citing conservapedia? Presenting it as unbiased – with a frigging BIASED entry as proof?

            Your shilling for Gessler has already shown me your lack of personal integrity, but this is jumping the goddamn shark.

        2. they all drowned in that great big flood along with all the other words not found in the King James Bible.  Apparently you didn’t know until today that Noah only had room for about 8,000 words on the Arky Arky.

          I guess he called those few dinosaurs that he did take onto his Ark, good old-time religion KJV names like “dove,” and “eagle” . . .

          Live and learn — unless you’re Republican and have no need to learn anything.

    1. (Which gave out this year’s award for Mathematics to all those people who purport to have used math to calculate the exact date of the end of the world.  Which, IIRC, is supposed to be coming up on Wednesday this week, since it didn’t happen earlier in the year)

  3. Saying that Williams, or any other county clerk, is participating in “soldier vote suppression” by not mailing ballots to “inactive-failed to vote” service members is wrong.

    When I was a 21 year old Marine in Yuma, AZ I didn’t care one bit about what was going on in Jefferson County. Why would you send me a ballot if I didn’t care enough to return the comment card?

    Gessler is wrong in his complaint, however clerks shouldn’t be forced to send mail ballots to “inactive-failed to vote” electors either. If a county decides they can’t afford to send out ballots to “inactive-failed to vote” electors, and the residents of that county are OK with that, then I’m OK with that.

      1. The problem seems to be that too many conservatives wilt when someone stands up to their ignorance (and most of the rest are so impervious to it that it devolves into ridiculing them…).

        I actually disagree with ScottP here.  If someone is registered to vote and their mailing address still seems to be valid, then they should be given the same opportunity to vote as their neighbor.  Either everyone gets mail-in ballots, or no-one does unless they specifically request it for absentee purposes.

        If you want to talk about equal votes, that is how it should work.  And while I disagree with Gessler’s read of the statute – and his attempts to restrict the right to vote via his lawsuit – I agree with the statement that everyone should have the same opportunity to vote, and that it shouldn’t be different from county to county (or state to state, or…)

        1. Does this mean I have to question your character and make fun of you now?

          If it’s a mail-only election, then yeah every registered voter should be mailed a ballot.

          But if I used to vote by mail and now I want to change my mind and go to a polling place then why send me a ballot?

          I think it’s ok if it’s different county to county  as long as everyone is given the same opportunity to vote. If Chaffee County gets a better turn out by mail-in ballots, but Jefferson County gets better turn out by polling places then they should be allowed to do things differently as long as voters have the same opportunity to cast their votes.

  4. One of the generals will have a talk with someone (likely Lamborn) about whether it is wise on the military’s part to continue to move additional batallions into the Springs. El Paso govt will generate a proclamation about how much they love the military.  

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