Afternoon Headlines August 1, 2017

Yesterday Colorado was scheduled to send in publicly available voter information of 3.7 million people to the voter fraud task force Donald Trump set up in June, however, technical errors prevented the transmission.
Officials were “locked out of the secure site” used to submit the data, so the plan is to send the data today once access is renewed.

Trump set up the commission to investigate his baseless claims of millions of people illegally voting in the recent presidential election. Colorado’s Secretary of State Wayne Williams agreed to send the task force only the information that is already publicly available, which includes: name and address, age, party affiliation, and voting history in terms of time and place.

Still, over 5,000 Coloradans took measures to prevent this information from being shared with Trump’s administration. Voters either unregistered themselves or sought confidential status of their information to keep it secret.

Secretary Williams, as expressed in a statement from his office, is encouraging those who withdrew to re-register to vote.

Senate Bill 17-040, which goes into effect August 9th, will lift any criminal penalty for violating the Colorado Open Records Act also known as CORA.

CORA is a mechanism of government transparency and requires the most public records be readily available to the public, and people can also request information from any government office.

The legislation includes a measure saying that anyone who “willfully and knowingly” withholds requested public information is guilty of a misdemeanor which could be punishable by jail time or a fine. This provision will be erased with the new Senate Bill.

This leaves civil litigation as the only other pathway of enforced CORA violations.

In Colorado’s recent history, no government employee has been prosecuted for illegally withholding requested government information, however cases have cropped up, but with such a high threshold for proving someone willfully violated CORA, none have gone to court.

Luis Toro, the executive director of Colorado Ethics Watch, told the Colorado Independent that the provision might not be missed since the criminal law was so hard to enforce in the first place. It operated more as a deterrent than an actual punishment.

Lt. Governor Donna Lynne has tentatively decided to run for Colorado governor.
She has not committed to the run for the position yet, but has made her intentions known. She is supposed to file the necessary paperwork to run today, and has already begun to raise money for a campaign.
Instead of making a definitive decision, according to the Denver Post, Lynne said she is striving to be transparent about her intentions while she serves as Lt. Governor, and to ensure that she can rally enough support to launch a strong campaign.

The race for governor is already highly competitive with 10 committed candidates who have already raised millions of dollars to fund their campaigns, though Lynne told the Denver Post she is confident she raise enough to meet the demands of running a political campaign.

She also said that her top priorities are to improve Colorado’s education and health care systems.
She should be making a final decision on whether or not to run by the time September rolls around.

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