Court Supports Broad Standing in HAVA Cases, Orders Gessler To Hold Hearing
On Friday, Denver District Court Judge William Robbins ruled in favor of election activist Marilyn Marks, ordering the Secretary of State to hold a hearing on Ms. Marks' administrative complaint under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The Secretary of State had dismissed Ms. Marks' complaint for lack of standing. Colorado Ethics Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Ms. Marks' argument that federal law permits "any person" to file a complaint under HAVA and have a hearing before the Secretary of State. The Court agreed that Ms. Marks has standing and remanded the case to the Secretary. Ms. Marks' complaint alleges various irregularities in connection with the general election in Saguache County in 2010.
"We thank Ms. Marks for taking on this important fight," said Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch. "At Ethics Watch, we are keenly aware that people with firsthand knowledge of legal violations are not always in a position to take on the powers that be to demand official investigations. Laws like the Help America Vote Act are designed to allow anyone to file a complaint, not just those who were present when a violation allegedly took place."