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Gazette Premium Content Giron backer protests recall petitions

By Megan Schrader Published: June 25, 2013

The recall petition aiming to oust Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, will face a legal challenge almost identical to the one filed against the Sen. John Morse recall effort.

S. Douglas McMillan, a voter from Senate District 3, challenged the validity of the petition on Tuesday saying it doesn't include all the language required for a recall election in state law.

If the Secretary of State's office rules in favor of McMillan's legal interpretation, all 12,648 petitions would be thrown out, and Giron's name would not appear on a ballot asking voters if she should be kicked out of office.

Giron and Morse were targeted for recall petition drives after they supported legislation during the session that banned high-capacity magazines and requires background checks on all gun sales.

Both recall efforts collected enough signatures - at least 25 percent of the voters who participated in the last election for each senator - to put the politicians' names on a ballot in coming months.

But both petitions did not include language that opponents say is required under the state constitution for a valid recall. That language specifies that if recalled, the outgoing senators would be replaced by newly elected candidates.

"This isn't about a 't' that wasn't crossed or some missing punctuation mark," Mark Grueskin, an election lawyer who is handling both challenges, said in a prepared statement. "This is a substantive element of a recall petition."

Victor Head, who lead the petition drive against Giron, disagreed.

"We had lawyers draw up the statement, it was approved by the secretary of state," Head said Monday. "I think it's kind of disingenuous of her because she pushed for the voter modernization act . and here they are trying to stop an election on a technicality like that."

The challenge on Morse's petition will be heard Thursday at the Secretary of State's Office, and a date has not been set yet for Giron's hearing.

Contact Megan Schrader


Twitter: @CapitolSchrader

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