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Voting Rights of Thousands of Purged Colorado Voters Restored

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted."

By Common Cause
Mi Famila Vote
SEIU

An agreement reached late Wednesday before a federal judge in Colorado ensures that tens of thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted.

The decision was hailed by voting rights and good-government groups in Colorado and nationwide as a victory for voters and a clear message that election officials must take the necessary steps to make sure ballots cast by eligible voters are counted.

"This is a great victory for working families in Colorado. This lawsuit was filed to protect voters and make sure no one will be turned away on Election Day," said Grace Lopez Ramirez, Colorado state director of Mi Familia Vota, one of the plaintiffs along with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Common Cause. "Voters will be assured that their voices will be heard."

Under the settlement between plaintiffs and the defendant, the Colorado Secretary of State, every wrongfully purged Colorado voter in question will be placed on a protection list that assumes their eligibility and guarantees that in the event they are given a provisional ballot on Election Day, county election officials will promptly verify their eligibility.

Any ballots cast by the purged voters contested at the county level will have to be reviewed by the Colorado Secretary of State as well as advocates for the purged voters -- rather than be discarded and not counted, as often happens with provisional ballots -- in order to make sure all eligible votes are counted. If the Secretary elects to reject the ballot, representatives of the plaintiffs will also have the opportunity to review the registration and contest any rejections of wrongfully purged voters. Additionally, the court will retain continuing jurisdiction over the tens of thousands of voters wrongfully purged, which allows plaintiffs to go directly to the judge to swiftly resolve any disputes and guarantee votes are properly counted....(Click for remainder).

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