Two Colorado Democrats who supported stricter state gun laws in the aftermath of mass shootings were voted out of office in a special recall election yesterday. State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo lost their seats after a vicious recall election backed by the National Rifle Association.
One factor that may have contributed to the narrow victories for the NRA and its allies – Morse lost by just 343 votes – was voter suppression. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz summarized the tactics that helped to suppress turnout:
Colorado voters are used to casting their ballots by mail, but because of lawsuits filed by opponents of common sense gun reform, voters were not mailed their ballots in this election. Those who intended to vote in person did not learn their polling locations until less than two weeks before Election Day. Tuesday’s low turnout was a result of efforts by the NRA, the Koch brothers and other right wing groups who know that when more people vote, Democrats win.
In addition, a canvasser for Giron reported “extreme voter intimidation”:
We had to call the police on a van of four huge guys staking out our staging location. Volunteers are being followed, threatened, having their pictures taken and yelled at. We’re now being told that it’s bad enough to call 911 immediately.