Headlines September 15, 2020

Headlines September 15, 2020

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Gov. Polis targeted by recall effort

Governor Jared Polis is the subject of another recall election. The Denver Post reports that the Secretary of State’s office on Monday gave approval for a petition effort to start gathering signatures.

Organizers have until Nov. 13 to collect more than 631,000 valid signatures to force a special election. A recall election would also include a question asking voters to select a replacement.

The Recall Polis 2020 committee says they have launched ht effort because Polis has abused his powers during the pandemic, including forcing businesses and houses of worship to close and mandating masks.

This is the second time in two years Polis has been targeted by a recall effort.

All Colorado Voters Can Now Track Ballots

Colorado’s Secretary of State announced on Monday that voters in all 64 counties will be able to track the status of their individual mail ballots for the 2020 General Election.

Jena Griswold said that voters will be able to receive notifications by phone, email, or text about the status of their mail ballots, from the time their county clerk and recorder mails the outgoing ballot packet, to when their voted ballot is received and accepted for counting.

Griswold said that this is the first time that all voters in the state will have access to ballot tracking.

In previous elections, twelve counties offered the service.

The city and county of Denver developed and will continue to operate a separate but similar system.

Voters in the remaining 51 counties that are adding ballot tracking will this week receive a notification they have been enrolled in the service if their registration record contains an email address. Those who don’t receive an auto-enrollment notification can sign up themselves at https://colorado.ballottrax.net.

Monday’s announcement came just days after Secretary of State Griswold filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Denver postmaster to stop delivery of flyers to Colorado voters containing misleading information for voters.

The mailer tells voters they must request a mail-in ballot for the November elections. However, in Colorado, every registered voter receives a mail ballot without requesting one.

The mailer also recommends that voters mail back their ballots at least a week before the Nov. 3 Election Day. Griswold argued that that information could make people believe they must mail their ballot; however, besides mailing ballots, voters in Colorado can drop them off at drop boxes, vote at service centers, or vote in person.

The Denver Post reports that despite a judge ruling in favor of the Secretary of State on Saturday, the post office says that 75% of the flyers have already been delivered. While no more postcards can be sent out as a result of the judge’s ruling, it is estimated that between about 1.8 and 2.4 million postcards have already been delivered to voters in Colorado.

Aurora Lawmakers Approve Temporary Ban on Ketamine Use by First Responders

Aurora City Council last night approved a temporary ban on the use of ketamine by first responders. The use of the powerful sedative has been under scrutiny since Elijah McClain died days after he was injected by first responders in August 2019.

The Aurora Sentinel reports that documents have revealed that the paramedic who injected McClain overestimated his weight by nearly 80 pounds.

McClain had also been put in a now banned chokehold by police who were responding to a call about a suspicious person.

The temporary ban on ketamine will be in effect until a consultant hired by the city submits their report on policies related to McClain’s death, including an investigation into how ketamine was used.

In July the Colorado Department of Public Health And Environment launched their own investigation into first responders’ use of ketamine on McClain.

The Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists have said that first responders should stop injecting people with ketamine until state health department finishes its review.

Denver Police Office Files Ethics Complaint Against City Councilmember

A Denver police officer has filed an ethics complaint against Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca. The complaint alleges the councilwoman insulted police officers during a protest action at the removal of a homeless encampment on August 19.

Officer Mallory Lutkin said in her complaint to the Denver Board of Ethics that CdeBaca called the police officers stupid and said those comments were meant to dehumanize and humiliate officers on scene in front of the protesters.

Lisa Calderón, CdeBaca’s chief of staff, told the Denver Post on Monday that the councilwoman had no comment on the complaint. Calderon said the office will respond once their legal adviser had time to review the document.

In a previous statement about the incident made to Denver 7 Councilmember CdeBaca said that rather than focusing solely on the language that she used to convey her distress as she stood behind police tape while her constituents were being abused, it would be more productive to focus on those who were assaulted by DPD that day, and on the more than $10,000 in taxpayer dollars used to deploy over 60 officers to remove 4 campers, rather than using those funds to get them off the streets in the first place.

Small Wildfire West of Boulder

Fire crews in Boulder contained a small wildland fire above Settler’s Park on Monday evening.

The Daily Camera reports that the fire grew to three-quarters of an acre and was 100% contained just after 6pm. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation.