Aurora Ballot Question 3A results on convicted felons holding office

A change to the city charter to remove a ban on people convicted of felonies from running for local office was failing Tuesday night after the first round of unofficial voting results were released.

The ballot question had 60.1% (39,066) no votes compared with 39.91%(25,935) yes votes, as of 7:45 p.m. The votes are tallied across three counties were Aurora voters live: Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams.

The city had already lifted its ban last year following a lawsuit by a candidate and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, but a change to the city charter requires a vote of its residents. The change would bring the city charter in line with the state constitution, and the language would be amended to say that only people convicted of “embezzlement of public money, bribery, perjury, solicitation of bribery or subornation of perjury” couldn’t run for local office.

Last week, the ACLU sent letters to 12 Colorado local governments calling on them to put an end to bans on people convicted of felonies from running for office, which the group said was unconstitutional. Weld County and the municipalities of Arvada, Brighton, Evans, Federal Heights, Fort Collins, Greeley, Johnstown, Lone Tree, Montrose, Pueblo and Windsor received the letter.

“These laws exemplify the collateral consequences that attach to a criminal conviction, with disproportionate harm to individuals and communities of color,” said ACLU of Colorado attorney Annie Kurtz in a statement.

Kurtz said the Arapahoe District Court’s decision in the Aurora lawsuit allowing candidate Candice Bailey to run for office “sends a powerful message that formerly incarcerated people are not second-class Coloradans — that they belong on ballots for public office.”

Source: Read Full Article