Jon Caldara of Colorado’s Independence Institute committed civil Obedience by engaging in vote fraud in the recall elections the state just held. He did it to highlight an “irresponsibly lax new election law.”
His ballot was blank, but he cast it in a voting district in which he claimed an “intention” to have a permanent residence. The law that permitted this nonsense was passed by a party-line vote, Dems for, Republicans against, at the end of Colorado’s last legislative session and was signed by Gov. Hickenlooper (D). The provision Caldara exploited is just one of the ways the law softened up the state’s elections and lowered the bar for fraud.
Even liberal newspapers that supported some of the bill’s provisions admit that Caldara has exposed flaws in the law. The Denver Post editorialized:
even stunts of dubious legality may prove a point—namely how easy it apparently is under Colorado’s new election law to commit fraud…. If it is easier than it used to be to skirt the law through an 11th-hour registration, that’s disturbing.
We supported many elements of [the law] and have no desire to fan lurid claims regarding its weaknesses.… But Caldara’s stunt—legal or not—does highlight an issue of real concern.
Caldara warns that this kind of “gypsy voting” means
the future of Colorado elections will be decided by which campaign has the most buses.
And sure enough, the sort of nonprofit that supplies lots of buses on voting day to low-information voters is outraged. ProgressNow Colorado, a left-wing pressure group, was outraged by Caldara’s shenanigans—especially since in this particular election, which decided whether to recall left-of-center politicians who had voted for gun control, they were afraid conservative groups would imitate the Left’s tactics of busing folks to the polls under dubious circumstances. ProgressNow went so far as to concoct a lurid fake photo of Caldara being perp-walked in handcuffs by the police.
Yet when conservative groups put up a billboard that declares, say, Vote Fraud Is A Crime, it’s denounced as “vote suppression.” Only a month ago, that’s the kind of talk you heard from one of the new law’s sponsors, Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver). He was appalled when Colorado’s Secretary of State issued guidelines that included asking persons who register to vote at the last minute if they intend to reside where they’re registering:
Requiring intent to remain in the district is arbitrary, and could create ambiguity and confusion for voters and elections officials. If I were trying to explain how voter suppression works, this would be it.
Today Pabon and friends are singing a new tune. As one of Caldara’s colleagues put it, “the hypocrisy of the professional Left is enough to choke a bus load of voters.”
FOOTNOTE: For more on ProgressNow’s partisan work in Colorado, read Fred Barnes’ definitive article on the state’s electoral changes. Townhall has a report on possible vote fraud in the recall elections, as well as video of lawn signs being ripped out. RedState has a report on the dubious voter rolls in Colorado. I’ve written about similar efforts in North Carolina, and also about the disrespect for voting rights shown by persons who are jealous of China's non-democracy, including community organizer Andy Stern and NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman. For longer treatments of vote fraud, see my colleague Matthew Vadum’s Subversion Inc. and Who’s Counting? by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky.