That’s the word from John Fryar of the Longmont Times-Call:
The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Tuesday will mail ballots to more than 145,800 active voters.
Then, either later this week or early next week, Boulder County may send ballots to about 24,600 other registered voters in the “inactive/failed-to-vote” category because they failed to vote in the 2010 general election and didn’t respond to mailed notifications.
Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall originally planned to send a third round of postcards to those inactive voters this week, explaining how to get back on active status so she could mail ballots for this fall’s election.
On Friday, however, a Denver District Court judge decided that Denver’s clerk and recorder could send ballots to that city’s inactive voters — a ruling that Hall said appears to allow other counties to do the same.
If the Boulder County attorney’s staff agrees, Hall said she expects to get those ballots out within a week.
We fully expect that in the aftermath of Friday’s court action, in which Secretary of State Scott Gessler was denied an injunction preventing the mailing of ballots to registered voters who missed the 2010 elections, that Boulder will indeed see its way clear to mailing out these ballots. According to the Junction Daily Blog, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner intends in the wake of Friday’s ruling to send ballots to inactive deployed military voters, though she cites the cost of sending to other “inactive failed to vote” voters as a reason to not do so.
Either way, Boulder Clerk Hillary Hall’s apparent change of heart after Friday’s ruling deprives Gessler of something important–bipartisan cover for his actions. It’s likely that other county clerks will feel pressure to change their policy this week. It’s important to note, as Reiner does, that the logistical hurdles of getting these ballots out at this late date are not insubstantial for counties who failed to plan for them. But the fact is, advocates for sending these ballots in the interest of fairness have the momentum–morally and legally–after Friday’s ruling.
After all, shouldn’t the fairness arguments that apply in Denver should apply everywhere? If Gessler seeks “uniformity” in election procedures, isn’t this the way to give it to him? And when Gessler balks, as surely he will, we’ll be that much closer to revealing his true motivations.