GOP votes down voter registration bill By Joe Hanel Journal Denver Bureau DENVER — House Republicans on Wednesday killed a bill on voter registration from one of their own members, Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose. The bill was a reaction to Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s effort to prevent county clerks from mailing ballots to people unless they voted in the last major election. After the vote, Democratic leaders were so angry they called for Gessler’s removal as the state’s top elections official. The House Local Government Committee killed Coram’s bill on a party-line, 6-5 vote. It had passed the Senate 24-10. Colorado labels voters as “inactive” if they skipped voting in a November election in an even-numbered year. Gessler has told county clerks not to send mail ballots to voters on the inactive list. Instead, the clerks send a series of postcards, to which voters can
reply and reactivate their voting status. Coram’s Senate Bill 109 would have moved all inactive voters to the active list, and it would have told elections officials to use the U.S. Postal Service’s change-ofaddress database to update their voter rolls. Several rural county clerks, including La Plata’s Tiffany Parker, pushed for the bill, saying it would make the work of updating voter rolls easier, cheaper and more accurate. “I strongly believe it is in the best interest of Colorado voters and will save money,” Parker said in written testimony to the House panel. The bill would save La Plata County $7,000 a year, Parker said. But Gessler testified against it. “Many clerks and recorders believe this is going to substantially increase costs,” Gessler said. Also, the U.S. Postal Service database is unreliable, he said. Although clerks from
Denver and Pueblo agreed with La Plata’s clerk, elections officials in other big Front Range counties opposed the bill. “Apparently, we didn’t make a strong enough case for it. We’ll move on,” Coram said. “We didn’t have consensus from the clerks.” Democrats, though, smelled a plot to disenfranchise their voters, because more registered Democrats than Republicans are listed as inactive. Gessler has previously attracted controversy by alleging that thousands of non-citizens were on the voter rolls. Wednesday’s testimony was the last straw for State Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio. “If Scott Gessler is unwilling to fulfill his duties as a non-partisan election officer, the people of Colorado should consider all avenues necessary to remove him as Secretary of State,” Palacio said in a news release. In 2011, Gessler tried to block clerks in Denver and Pueblo from sending mail
ballots to inactive voters. But the clerks sued and won a preliminary injunction against Gessler. The full case is not scheduled to be heard until January 2013. That means that clerks in Denver and Pueblo can ignore Gessler’s orders and send ballots to inactive voters this fall. Both cities are Democratic strongholds. “It weights those counties with a higher percentage of votes. That’s the downside,” Coram said. If Pueblo sends out ballots to inactive voters and other clerks do not, it could make a difference in a close race between U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and his Democratic challenger, Sal Pace, a state representative from Pueblo. But Gessler said he is trying to be prudent in his maintenance of the voter lists. “We need to think through these things better, and we certainly shouldn’t do them on the eve of a United States presidential election,” Gessler said.
deaths Aeden Marie Burris Graveside services for Aeden Marie Burris, 6 year-old daughter of Ryan and Ana, will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3 at Summit Ridge Cemetery. Aeden was born Jan. 13, 2006 in Denver the daughter of Ryan Thomas Burris and Ana Marie Hern. She passed Burris away on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at her Cortez home. Aeden was the epitome of struggles. She
a princess; always polite and respectful to everyone she met. Aeden never c o m plained during her health was smil-
ing and never complained, right up to the very end. Surviving Aeden are her parents, Ryan Burris and Ana Hern both of Cortez; her grandparents, Ira L. Imler of Durango, Verna M. Burris of Cortez, and Linda Knaras and husband, Mike of Cortez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and family and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made in Aeden Burris’ name to the Children’s Hospital Heart Institute in Aurora, Colo. Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.
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Briefs Bureau releases Februaryend status of local reservoirs The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently released the February-end status of local reservoirs Jackson Gulch and McPhee. Jackson Gulch reservoir live content stood at 3,680 acrefeet with a 9,977 acre-feet maximum capacity and a 4,557 acre-feet average (1981-2010) end-of-month content. At Jackson Gulch, a daily maximum/minimum of 0/0 cubicfeet-per second was released into the Mancos River, and 12 acre-feet were released for municipal purposes. McPhee Reservoir live content stood at 287,844 acre-feet, with a 381,051 acre-feet maximum capacity and a 268,010 average (1981-2010) end-of-month content. At McPhee, 1,726 acre-feet were released into the Dolores River, and 1,297 acre feet were released for transbasin purposes. At McPhee, a daily maximum/minimum of 30/30 cubic-feetper-second was released into the Dolores River. Questions can be directed to the Southern Water Management Group, Resource Management Division of the Western Colorado Area Office, Durango, at 385-6523.
Rifle and Pistol Club wins NRA award, grant The Four Corners Rifle and Pistol Club has been awarded the National Rifle Association Gold Medal Award and a $5,500 Friends of the NRA grant. To receive the National Rifle Association Gold Medal Club award, a club must meet specific criteria. The Four Corners Rifle and Pistol Club has done so many years. Because of this designation, the club has preferred status for the National Rifle Association Range Grant Program. The $5,500 grant also awarded to the club is partial funding for a dedicated 50-meter, Junior 22 Rimfire Range Facility at the outdoor range, which is located across from the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. The facility will provide a place for local youth to shoot with their parents, compete in supervised club and 4-H events, and participate in public shooting events. Four Corners Rifle and Pistol Club, Inc., is a Nonprofit Corporation formed in 1963.
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Dorah ‘Leona’ Moore Funeral services for Dorah the world one of her nieces. “Leona” Moore will be held w i t h Miss Moore moved to at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 2 f r i e n d s Cheyenne, Wyo. in 2007, at Ertel Memorial Chapel in and fam- where she lived with her Cortez. Interment will follow ily to many sister and made many at Cortez Cemetery. d e s t i n a - cherished friends at Faith Miss Moore passed away tions in Baptist Church where a early Sunday morning, March E u r o p e , service will be held next 25, 2012 at her home in CheyJapan and week. Pastor Miller has Moore enne, Wyo. She was 75. H a w a i i . requested that in lieu of Born in Zafra, Okla. on Her most flowers at this memorial March 5, 1937, to John H. prized possession was the service, contributions may and Exie Arminda (Nichols) Fuji stick she earned climbing be made to the Heart and Moore, she is survived by her Mt. Fuji in Japan in 1987 with Stroke Foundation. brother and sister-in-law, Elmer Lee and Faith Moore of Vista, Calif.; nieces and nephEffECtIVE AprIL 2, 2012 ews, Ellen Mills of Brenham, Texas, Wendell Smalling of Hugo, Okla., Grady Smalling of Springfield, Mo., Deriel Moore of Hatfield, Ark., Linda IS MOVING TO Petersen of Waco, Texas, Ju24891 Road T lee Jaeb of Vista, John Moore Dolores, CO 81323 of Dove Creek, Debbie Baxmann of Mission, British CoBUt WE’rE StILL lumbia, Canada and Daniel HERE FOR YOU! Leonard of Belton, Texas. • Yvonne She is also survived by many 970-882-2244 great- and great-great nieces • Stan and nephews. 970-565-5399 Miss Moore was preceded • Julie in death by her parents; a 970-560-7611 brother, D.W. Moore; and two sisters, Inez Smalling and WilGIVE US A CALL or COME SEE US!! ma Leonard. She graduated from Cortez High School in the top 15 percent of her class in May of 1956 and completed her degree in elementary education at Southeastern State College in Durant, Okla. in 1960. Miss Moore taught for four years in the Cortez Public School system from 1962 to 1966, and then 25 years in Lawton, Now Certified Lash Specialist Okla., where she retired in Sandi-Gina-Valerie 1991. An avid traveler, she toured Individual Eyelash Extensions make all the difference to your look on your special day - Prom, Your Wedding Day or to beat the winter blues! Wake up to Luscious Lashes. Say Good bye to mascara. Weightless and very comfortable our extensions are applied one by one using medical adhesive. Lashes will stay on 6 to 8 weeks. Refills are necessary to maintain fresh and beautiful lashes. Specials running now through April
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