Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz says that the results of Tuesday’s recall election in Colorado — in which voters ousted two state senators who had voted to toughen gun laws — are a product of “voter suppression, pure and simple.”
On Tuesday, the recall movement started by anti-gun-reform Republicans successfully removed state Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and state senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) from office — 51 percent voted to recall Morse, and 56 percent voted to recall Giron, according to unofficial returns. The gun lobby, which provided significant financial backing to the recall efforts, sees its victory as a referendum on gun reform across the country. Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. Representative from Florida, sees something more nefarious at play.
“The recall elections in Colorado were defined by the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “This was voter suppression, pure and simple.”
“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,” she elaborated. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, the National Rifle Association had a different take on the results. “This effort was driven by concerned citizens, who made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked diligently to turn voters out in this historic effort,” it said in a statement.
Although the gun lobby certainly won the short-term battle in Colorado, supplanting two gun safety advocates with anti-reform replacements, there is a silver lining for reformers. Despite Morse and Giron’s recalls, the gun laws that sparked the recall remain on the books — and given the Democratic Party’s control of the state House, Senate, and governorship, they seem unlikely to be changed any time soon.
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