City of Aspen to Appeal Marks Lawsuit
The Aspen City Council has directed staff to appeal the Marks v. Koch case to the Colorado Supreme Court. At issue in the lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2009, is the right of citizens to expect that their cast ballots will remain secret. The City maintains it is a citizen’s constitutional right to vote their conscience knowing that their ballot will remain forever secret.
This case is not about election transparency. The 2009 municipal election was one of the most transparent elections in City and state history. This case involves the sanctity of the secret ballot. The City believes that the Court of Appeals was in error when it held that the Colorado Constitution does not protect the secrecy of ballots. Because the decision of the Court of Appeals will have statewide ramifications for all future elections, the City believes that it is important to ask the State Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals’ decision and once again protect all citizens’ right to a secret ballot. The City has until November 14, 2011 to ask the Supreme Court to review the case. In the meantime, the Appellate Court’s decision will be stayed and all cast ballots from the May 2009 election will remain locked up.