Sure they can.
Aurora Dem and former state House hopeful Nancy Cronk took to Facebook this week to ensure rules are followed and rat out right-wing gunners trying to jimmy the system at a local Department of Motor Vehicle office. Her son went there to do driver-license stuff and noticed that outside the office was a table set up with volunteers, collecting signatures for those who want to see a pro-gun-rights initiative make it to the statewide ballot.
Nancy clearly would not.
The volunteers ask folks if they want to sign, and if the answer is “yes,” they give up the John Hancock right there. And if they’re not registered voters, a requirement to sign a ballot petition — well, how convenient. Just step that way, register to vote, come on back and sign.
If they have no interest in signing the petition, or get squinty about Colorado already having way too many guns and gunners, well, see ya.
Sure, according to election officials. Nothing in state or local laws precludes petition gatherers from using busy public property for such a thing, and props to someone clever enough to know that county DMV and clerk’s offices can register the willing but unable.
You don’t even have to ask, said Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Matt Crane. “You can just set up shop.”
Anybody can, he said. Gun rights activists, anti-frackers, potential political candidates, bleeding hearts and conservative curmudgeons alike.
One complaint about these petition gatherers focuses on whether they were asking people if they were Republicans.
“I don’t think there’s anything illegal about it,” he said, although he questioned the wisdom, diplomacy and ethics of asking people their political persuasion, potentially putting off a potential signer.
As to the image of the Arapahoe County Sheriff at the DMV, it’s a poster of Sheriff Dave Walcher sporting the county’s snazzy new black uniforms, which have replaced the deputy blues they’ve worn for decades. It’s part of a campaign to educate residents about what the county cops now look like. Walcher’s term doesn’t come up until 2018, and he hasn’t said publicly whether he’s running for re-election.
As to creepily watching stuff, well, they do that for a living.
Here’s the Facebook post:
My son went to the Arapahoe County DMV to renew his driver’s license. On the premises was a table and a volunteer who asked him if he wanted to sign a pro-gun rights petition. (A friend also told me they have a similar table at the County Clerk and Recorder’s office, inside the building, on County premises). When someone answers yes, they are directed to a table where they are given the opportunity to register to vote, if they are not already registered. If they say no, they are not.
Is this legal? Would the Republican Secretary of State do anything about it? Would the Republican Clerk and Recorder in Araphaoe County do anything about it if it were illegal? Also doubtful.
As if that weren’t enough, a few feet away is a lifesize, labeled photo cutout of the Sheriff (R) who is running for re-election. The photo does not reference voting — it just appears to be monitoring the area in a creepy way. Welcome to Arapahoe County CO, folks.