Back in August, Secretary of State Scott Gessler's office issued an election rule stating that voters must reside in the same district in which they vote, and, in case someone like the Independent Institute's Jon Caldara was wondering, Gessler's rule stated that "intent to move, in and of itself, does not establish residence."
This sounded sensible to people who believe in representative government.
But about a week later, the residency rule was rescinded by Gessler's office for no apparent reason. It was part of a set of election rules, one of which was thrown out by a judge, but Gessler wasn't required to dump the residency rule. But he did anyway.
About a month later, people who believe in representative government were surprised when Gessler stepped up to a talk-show microphone on KNUS radio and proclaimed that under Colorado's new election law, "you don't have to live in the district in order to be able to vote there, which I think is just absurd."
At this point in the story, even people who don't believe in representative government were puzzled, because in August Gessler's office had arrived at the exact opposite conclusion about the new law.
The eternal question: What would Gessler say next?Well, on Oct. 9, the residency rule was re-issued by Gessler's office in almost the exact same words as before, stating that "intent to move to a new district or county, in and of itself, is not enough to establish residency." The rule also says:
An elector may not register to vote in a new district or county unless he or she has already moved and established his or her primary residence in the new district or county.
Just like before, this makes sense to most everyone, except maybe Boulder-resident Caldara, who, you recall, voted in Colorado Springs in October's recall election, because, he said, he rented a room and wanted to check out the city.
And what about Gessler? Is he on board with the election rule, even though it emanated from his office?
Will Gessler again be asked to step up to a talk-radio microphone and explain if he still thinks, like he said before, that Colorado's new election law mandates that "you don't have to live in the district in order to be able to vote there?"
How could he possibly think so, now that his office has twice concluded otherwise? I'll be sitting by my radio, waiting for his answer on KOA, KNUS, KLZ, or wherever.
Actually, wouldn't it be fun if Jon Caldara asked Gessler about it on his Sunday KHOW show?
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