This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1700 Broadway Suite 200 Denver, CO 80290
Scott Gessler Secretary of State
Suzanne Staiert Deputy Secretary of State
April 26, 2012 The Honorable Brandon Shaffer 200 Colfax Denver, CO 80203 Via email: Brandon@brandonshaffer.com Re: Senate bill 135
Dear President Shaffer, I am writing to ask you to exercise your leadership and allow a vote on Senate Bill 135. As you may know, SB-135 would establish consolidated, real-time election night reporting for Coloradans. According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, Colorado is only one of nine states without a statewide election night reporting system. In short, we sorely lag behind other states in providing timely and transparent election results. SB-135 was introduced on January 31 and has since witnessed an epic crawl through your chamber. After receiving unanimous support in the State Affairs committee, it languished on the Appropriations committee calendar for 57 days. And after passing eight to one in Appropriations, Senate leadership will not bring it up for a vote in the Senate. I agree with The Denver Post’s April 4, 2012 editorial that said, “We think the issue warrants a serious debate, and would like to see the measure move forward.” The people of Colorado deserve an up or down vote on this initiative. Without timely approval of SB-135, we will not be able to build and test the election night reporting system in time for the upcoming 2012 presidential election. With each delay in the Senate, my office has struggled to move back our deadline, but the window is rapidly closing. If the Senate does not take action, you will effectively kill this project through delay. I am writing you directly because I have read your repeated public statements that we need to remove partisanship and gridlock from politics. By contrast, rumors are swirling that Senate Democratic leadership has held back SB-135 in retribution for Republican opposition to House Bill 1267. I hope those rumors are not true. In any event, SB-135 is an excellent opportunity to display the non-partisan leadership that you frequently talk about. And your leadership on this issue would be welcome. SB-135 has incredibly strong bipartisan support. Colorado’s clerks and recorders strongly support this bill, as does the Colorado Press Association and other groups that support openness in our elections. All of this support has translated into near unanimous backing in the Senate. With your leadership, Colorado will have better elections. Without your leadership, this project will die, and Colorado will continue to lag behind other states.
By comparison, you and your chamber guided Senate Bill 14 through the Senate in a mere 14 days. SB-014 almost exclusively benefited legislators and candidates by reducing their campaign finance reporting obligations. Although SB-135 does not have such direct benefits for legislators, it nonetheless benefits millions of Coloradans outside the capitol. Giving SB-14 quick and preferred treatment, while slow-playing SB-135, sends the wrong message: that benefits for legislators get the green light, while benefits to Colorado voters get stalled. I implore you to give prompt and fair consideration to Senate Bill 135. Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely, Scott E. Gessler