Monday, May 4, 2020

Denver Post’s The Spot: Denver Judge Starts Rewriting Election Rules

Andrew Romanoff and John Hickenlooper
The Democratic primary of June 30 was set after the April Democratic State Assembly as a two-person contest when the Assembly only nominated Andrew Romanoff, the state party activist and grassroots candidate, to face off against John Hickenlooper, the well-financed party establishment candidate who got on the ballot by petition.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, a Denver judge, Christopher Baumann, ruled additional petition-seeking candidates will be let on the ballot in spite of not having sufficient signatures because COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place orders interrupted their efforts. The judge received appeals for relief from three candidates and decided that two had sufficient signatures to qualify and one did not.

In an interview with Justin Wingerter in the Denver Post’s political newsletter, The Spot (5-1-20), I suggested his decision appeared subjective and arbitrary and believed it upsets a set of rules governing all the candidates, their supporters and the parties.

My quote:

“It really destabilizes a system that was designed in a certain way,” said Floyd Ciruli, a longtime pollster and political consultant. “Within a certain timeline you have to get a certain number of signatures and the assumption, frankly, is that most people won’t. It’s extremely hard to do.”

My point was that the system was designed to avoid a ballot crowded with self-motivated longshots. I specifically felt it hurt Andrew Romanoff who needs to win the anti-establishment, left-leaning vote. “Romanoff needs a head-to-head as much as possible.”

See The Buzz:
Denver Post: Coronavirus and Colorado Primary

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