City of Aspen Files Appeal to Supreme Court in Marks' Lawsuit



City of Aspen Files Appeal to

Supreme Court in Marks Lawsuit



Contact:  Jim True, City Special Counsel; 970-920-5108 or; John Worcester, City Attorney; 970-920-5055 or


Aspen, Colorado – November 11, 2011 – The City of Aspen has filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Colorado Supreme Court in the Marks v. Koch case.  At issue in the case, which was originally filed in 2009, by Marilyn Marks, is the right of citizens to expect that their cast ballots will remain forever secret following an election.  The City maintains it is a citizen’s constitutional right to vote their conscience knowing that their ballot will remain secret.


The case is not about election transparency. The 2009 municipal election was one of the most transparent elections in City and state history.  The 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 and state law do not protect the secrecy of ballots.  For more than a century, laws in all 50 states require elections to be held by secret ballot.  Because the decision of the Court of Appeals would have important ramifications for all future elections if allowed to stand, the City believes that it is important to have the Supreme Court review the lower court’s decision.


The plaintiff, Marilyn Marks, now has 10 days to file an Opposition Brief and the City will have an additional 5 days to file a Reply Brief.  The Supreme Court has complete discretion in deciding whether it will grant the request for appeal.  It may not be until 2012 that the City gets an answer.


In the meantime, the Appellate Court’s decision will be stayed and all cast ballots from the May 2009 election will remain locked up.


The Petition to the Supreme Court is online at


Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011