Ousted Colorado Lawmaker Alleges Voter Suppression
The recalled president of the Colorado State Senate said voter suppression worked against him as voters drove him from office for his support of new gun-control laws.
Former state Sen. John Morse defended the legislation as "the right thing to do."
"We had very sensible, commonsense gun legislation. You got to reload after cranking out 15 rounds. You have got to get a background check. You got to pay for the background check yourself. You want a concealed weapons permit, you got to get that training in person, not on the Internet," Morse said on MSNBC last night. "And we took some existing federal law and made it state law concerning domestic violence, so judges have jurisdiction over that. None of that comes anywhere close to the Second Amendment."
Of his recall, Morse added, "I don't think it's right, and I don't think Colorado is going to want to do politics the way now it may have to with general elections in even number of years and recalls the following year."
"It's not smart governance by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what it is."
He argued that "if you look at this from a distance, it looks like exactly what you have said, the NRA has some power in local races."
"But if you lift the hood just a skosh, you see they only got 9,100 votes turned out. They actually didn't do a very good job of this at all. What they were able to do was to suppress the vote overall. And, truthfully, we weren't able to get 9,101 votes out, which was incredibly frustrating," said Morse. "But they got less than 11 percent of the vote in this case, even though people are mad as the dickens. But the truth is 80 percent of the people approve with what we did. And so they got half of those 20 percent."
When asked how the vote was suppressed, he noted "we didn't have any mail-in ballots."
"And the clerk in the area set the voting time such that it was very difficult for working people to vote. They had 11 hours total to vote that wasn't between 8:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday. And so they had Thursday, Friday, Monday, and then Election Day on Tuesday, and Tuesday the polls were open from 7:00 to 7:00," Morse continued.
"But on those other days, they were open to 8:00 to 5:00 and they were open on Saturday from 8:00 to 5:00. So, they got those hours and they got the hours from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. But 70 percent of Coloradans vote by mail-in ballot. And in this case, they got the mail-in ballot squashed, so that nobody got to use a mail-in ballot."