Electioneering allegations fly in Dist. 61 race
State election officials were asked to intervene following Election Day allegations of illegal electioneering in the Colorado House District 61 race.
Gordon Bronson, the campaign manager for the Democratic candidate in the race, Roger Wilson, filed a formal complaint upon learning that supporters of incumbent Kathleen Curry of Gunnison were handing out pens outside polling places in the district urging a write-in vote for her.
The pens, which were inscribed with “Curry for State House 61 – Fill in the box – Write her in,” were then making it inside the polling places.
Curry, who left the Democrats to became an independent candidate for this year’s election, was unable to have her name included on the ballot. She is running for re-election as a write-in candidate.
“Her supporters were handing the pens to people on the way in, and voters were then carrying them inside, which is a clear violation of election laws,” Bronson said.
Bronson said he notified local election officials, and the complaint was formally lodged with the Secretary of State’s Office.
According to Rich Coolidge, spokesman for Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, Curry was immediately called and advised of the violation, and she agreed to stop the activity.
Curry acknowledged that the pens were making it inside polling places in Carbondale and Crested Butte, but didn’t know if they were being handed out at other locations in the five-county legislative district.
“They were being handed out outside the 100-foot polling boundary, but people were walking them into the polling places,” she said. “We stopped doing that as soon as we learned that it was a problem.”
Curry also said that flyers supporting Wilson were also being handed out as some polling places and were making it inside as well.
“We agreed that neither of our campaigns would hand anything out,” she said.
Bronson said the flyers in question were actually from a nonprofit 527 political organization, and not Wilson’s campaign.
“We don’t know who it was, but it wasn’t from our campaign,” he said.
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