Saturday, September 7, 2013
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at [email protected]

COLORADO SPRINGS: Learning today of the director of the right-wing Independence Institute’s willfully fraudulent casting of a ballot in the Senate District 11 recall election—a district Jon Caldara does not live in—ProgressNow Colorado called on El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams to immediately refer this incident to El Paso County District Attorney Dan May for prosecution as a felony crime.

“Jon Caldara has gone too far this time,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “It’s unclear who Caldara is getting his advice from, but Colorado election law is crystal-clear: giving false information regarding one’s residence to vote is a felony.”

Under Colorado Revised Statutes 1-13-709.5., Residence-false information-penalty, it says, “any person who votes by knowingly giving false information regarding the elector’s place of present residence commits a class 6 felony and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-401, C.R.S.”

“Jon Caldara is making a joke out of very serious election law, and he’s just plain wrong about how election law works,” said Runyon-Harms. “Caldara says he’s going to ‘check out’ Colorado Springs while he rents week to week from a former Republican legislator. That’s a tourist, not a resident. The fact is, Jon Caldara lives in Boulder, not in Colorado Springs, and he is wilfully committing a felony by attesting otherwise—even if it’s a ‘political stunt.’”

“This year,” said Runyon-Harms, “Colorado passed an important common-sense election modernization bill that improves access to voting. Right-wing opponents of this bipartisan legislation have made all sorts of irrational claims about voter fraud, none of which have proven accurate, and now one of the state’s foremost conservatives is committing voter fraud to prove a point? In a sense, we can thank Caldara for putting his freedom on the line to test his half-baked theory.”

“It’s ironic that the man who says he wants ‘a wave of fear’ from these recalls is afraid to fill out his fraudulent ballot, but he clearly wants to challenge the law,” said Runyon-Harms. “So let’s see who wins in court. Charge him.”