Guns at Polling Places? You Bet, Says Heidi Ganahl

I said I love me some guns, oh yeah!

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl has been traveling around Colorado speaking to small GOP audiences in advance of the April State Assembly. Ganahl doesn’t even pretend that she isn’t pandering to the right wing; Two-Sidey Heidi just tells every crowd what she thinks they want to hear, regardless of how much it exposes her to problems in a potential General Election matchup with incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

On Thursday, Ganahl was conducting a meet-and-greet in Pueblo when the discussion turned to guns and a bill in the state legislature seeking to restrict the ability to openly carry a weapon at polling places.

House Bill 22-1086, “The Vote Without Fear Act,” is sponsored by gun safety advocate Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). According to the bill text, the proposal “prohibits a person from openly carrying a firearm within any polling location or central count facility, or within 100 feet of a ballot drop box or any building in which a polling location or central count facility is located, while an election or any related ongoing election administration activity is in progress.” The point here is pretty obvious: Nobody should feel intimidated by another person while casting their ballot in an election.

But Ganahl, of course, is much more worried that people who insist on carrying guns might be sad if they couldn’t vote without one. Listen below to what she had to say about this bill, or read the transcription that follows:

GANAHL: “And we’ve got to follow the Constitution. I’ve got to trust people and follow the Constitution. I’ve got to defend your Second Amendment rights. I’m the daughter of a police officer. I got concealed carry. I was raised to know how to shoot and we cannot let them degrade our rights anymore at the Capitol. Have you guys seen this? What’s it called? Vote for, say — about having guns around — open carry around the polling? Yeah, polling places. That’s their latest tactic to, you know, basically water down our rights.”

This probably plays well to a right-wing audience, but it is a position that could prove costly in a General Election. We seriously doubt most Colorado voters would oppose the idea of keeping firearms away from polling places.

“The Vote Without Fear Act” passed out of a House committee this week and now heads to the floor for discussion. Republican lawmakers have made been making silly arguments in opposition to the legislation, as Nick Coltrain reported this week for The Denver Post:

Rep. Mary Bradfield, R-Colorado Springs, decried voter intimidation but said that her constituents sent her to the Capitol to protect their Second Amendment rights.

“Voter intimidation is wrong at any time. It was wrong in the past, it’s wrong today and it’s going to be wrong in the next election,” Bradfield said. “… But I see what happens here with the passage of this bill is what my constituents will see as their Second Amendment rights beginning to be eroded. That is troublesome.”

In other words, carrying a gun is more of a fundamental right than being able to vote without intimidation. That’s not a position that we’d be excited to defend in an election year.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. spaceman2021 says:

    This is fucking ridiculous and Heidi is fucking ridiculous.  

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      It makes me miss the days when the GOP would run flawed but presentable candidates like Both Ways Bob Beauprez, Walker Stapleton and Moderatus' girlfriend, Cynthia Coffman.

      This isn't even the third string players. 

  2. 2Jung2Die says:

    Trust me, it's far worse to give people in ridiculously long voting lines a bottle of water.

  3. doremi says:

    Rep. Patrick nEVILle said he has friends who don't go anywhere without openly carrying a firearm.  He indicated they would feel intimidated without having their guns in the polling place.  (Actually, the proposal does not prohibit concealed carry). 

    RMGO head felt it robbed "lower class" people, which he said were mainly Black, Native and Latino, of their voting rights, because they can't afford a concealed carry permit. 

    Bill sponsor Jennifer Bacon recounted how Medgar Evers and friends went to vote and were met by several hundred armed white men.  They turned around. 

  4. Genghis says:

    "But I see what happens here with the passage of this bill is what my constituents will see as their Second Amendment rights beginning to be eroded. That is troublesome.”

    Yes, Mary, it's your job to stoke and exploit the idiot misconceptions of your smooth-brained constituents. 

  5. Voyageur says:



    Genghis, these damn libs are telling me I can't drive my 1941 Stuart tank to the polls.  It has the 37 mm gun.  I know that won't handle Bowman's T-34/85 but it's fast and agile and easily outguns the 20 mm popgun on R&R's PZ2.  

    How do I make these idiots heed the second amendment?


  6. JohnInDenver says:

    I've decided I want to be an originalist on this issue.  Voters can carry any weapon engineered to 1791 standards, as the Founding Fathers agreed to   I've yet to see ANY analysis that says those writing, debating, and voting on the Second Amendment considered they were authorizing the right of a person to carry a weapon capable of more damage in 10 minutes than was the outcome of an open battle between two armies for an entire day.

    • Voyageur says:

      uhh, you're radically understating ancient firepower, JID. 

      At Cannae, The Romans were crushed by the African, Gallic, and Celtiberian troops of Hannibal, with recorded Roman losses ranging from 55,000 (according to Roman historian Livy) to 70,000 (according to Greek historian Polybius).

      That's more than died at Hiroshima, at least in the initial blast.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        There are lots of battles & wars with greater casualties — but I don't believe there are any during the life experience of the Founding Fathers. 

        Awhile ago, I looked up the casualties of the US Revolution" George & the Good Guys against the Brits & mercenaries. As I recall, the casualties caused by the Las Vegas shooter taking on country music fans would be something like #10 among all the battles of that multi-year war. 

        Scalia's analysis in the Heller case was that the Founders wanted to allow "weapons commonly used" — and I figure they based their moral calculus on the damage they knew an individual could cause with those "commonly used weapons."

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        That works out to about just slightly better than one Roman-forces death per opposing combatant, in an entire day of battle combat? . . .

        . . . that’s probably not a level of firepower or carnage that’s going to sell many javelins, swords, or slings to today’s clamoring polling-station defender warrior hordes of Negevs and Kyle Rittenhouses.

    • Negev says:

      I have yet to see any analysis that the First Amendment authorized the right of a person to post digital opinion packets across a worldwide network of satellites and fiber optic cable, yet here you are……

      This may have been the intent of the founding fathers….

      • JohnInDenver says:

        And yet oddly, there are a wide variety of laws limiting the press, speech, & assembly rights of people at polling places.  And most of us think those are reasonable restrictions.

        • Negev says:

          Then why would you permit a voter to carry ANY firearm at polling locations?

          • notaskinnycook says:

            If you're carrying concealed and doing it properly, I shouldn't know that you are. I don't think anyone's suggesting patting people down at the polling place, but people demanding to be allowed to walk into one with a rifle slung over their shoulder is absurd

            • Negev says:

              Agreed. Open carry is stupid. 

            • kwtree says:


              It’s analogous to electioneering around polling places- one has to take off or or cover one’s “Vote for x candidate!” T shirt / buttons, etc., when within 100’ of a polling place.
              I don’t know if Colorado’s election rules cover approaching a public ballot box without electioneering. IMHO, they shouldn’t, if one just walks to the box and puts the ballot in, as most Colorado voters do. True legal concealed carry should also be fine when voting the Colorado Way.
              However, if some yahoo wants to stand around the box for hours strutting his Trump ( or any candidate) gear, that could be voter intimidation.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Because, in this case it ain’t about the gun . . .

            . . . it’s about the intimidation (but, isn’t all so-called “open carry”?) — in this particular case, voter intimidation .

            (Don’t worry, however, it probably won’t be a that long before the Republican Party officially declares all fire-arms related forms of voter intimidation “legitimate political discourse” — and SCOTUS rules it’s a freedom of religion.)

            • Negev says:

              So are you saying is the gun you think the founding fathers permitted me to "bear" in self defense is not intimidating enough to deter voters?  

              • Diogenesdemar says:


                I was answering your other goofy question as it applies to the proposed legislation.

                Then why would you permit a voter to carry ANY firearm at polling locations?

                “Is that a musket in your pocket, or are you just happy to be voting here? . . .”

                (But you could be right about your musket being less intimidating than the average .223?)

                • Negev says:

                  Oh sorry that goofy question was directed at John in Denver, who stated:

                  I've decided I want to be an originalist on this issue.  Voters can carry any weapon engineered to 1791 standards, as the Founding Fathers agreed to

                  You don't think John condones voter intimidation now, do you?

              • Dano says:

                The founding father did not grant you a right to self-defense. They granted you the right to bear arms in order to maintain "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State". Your right (and responsibility) is to defend the government, not yourself.

                • Negev says:

                  That's grand… did you enter the U.S. on a visa program or is that the public education system? Love to see the source of the statement….

                  • Dano says:

                    um…pulled the quote straight from the Constitution actually

                    • Negev says:

                      Not the quote, the statement:

                      Your right (and responsibility) is to defend the government, not yourself.

                      Please refer to DCvsHeller”In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court finally did strike down a gun control regulation, in this case a federal law that forbade nearly all civilians from possessing a handgun in the District of Columbia. A narrow 5–4 majority adopted the main conclusions and many of the arguments advanced by the revisionist commentators, ruling that the original meaning of the Second Amendment protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.”

  7. Meiner49er says:

    I don't know about y'all, but this state ain't big enough for two "Klannie Oakleys." Until Hiedi Heidi straps a phallic object pistol on her hip, I don't think it plays up to Lauren Boebert's caliber.

  8. Dano says:

    The topic was what the founding fathers actually wrote, not later interpretations. Therefore, my comments were directed solely at that.

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