A Zombie Bill For Zombie Voters

The Denver Post is reporting that the Colorado Senate Democrats, determined to send mail ballots out to Zombie voters (voters listed as, “inactive, failed to vote”), have found a Zombie  bill for their purposes.  The bill is all the more troubling since the Democrats have blocked virtually all efforts to clean up the voter rolls, ensuring that ballots will be sent out to valid addresses and ineligible or dead voters.

Here’s how they did it.  Watch closely.

First, the players.  The Republicans control the House 33-32.  The Democrats control the Senate, 20-15.  House Bill 1267 would have shortened the window for early voting.  It was passed by the House, and killed by a Senate Committee, 3-2, on a party-line vote.  Senate Bill 109 would send out mail ballots to inactive voters, and it passed the Senate, but was killed in the House Committee on a party-line vote.  However, in the House, it had a Republican sponsor, Rep. Don Coram, which means that had it not been killed in committee, it might well have passed on the House floor.

So the Democrats in the Senate Committee moved to reconsider HB-1267, resurrect the bill, in effect, so they could amend it with the substance of SB-109, the Zombie Voter Bill.  Once passed by the Senate, the re-animated HB-1267, with the form of the old bill but the substance of the new one, would return not to a House committee, but to the House floor, where it would be voted on.  This would at least put Rep. Coram in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between voting against a bill whose substance he had previously supported, or voting for it, an becoming the only Republican to support the Zombie Bill for Zombie Voters.

Last year, when the Senate Democrats began playing these sorts of games, with Senate President Brandon Shaffer killing bills by committee inaction, Republicans essentially shut down the body until they relented.  And that doesn’t even include the spectacle of the Democrats filibustering their own Congressional redistricting map.

A Republican House leadership committed to playing hardball probably has many more choices that I can think of, but two immediately come to mind.  The House Speaker has considerably leeway in when to schedule floor votes.  If Coram is willing to avoid voting for procedural matters, he can probably avoid voting on the substantive matter.

Second, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  House Republicans in committee could do the same thing with any Democrat bill they killed, including SB-109, and replace its language with a favored, popular, but Democrat-hostile bill such as HB-1111, the bill the Senate Democrats just killed to have a statewide referendum on voter photo ID.  This would send that bill back to a floor debate and vote by the entire Senate, where it might not pass, but would put the Democrats in the position of airing their flimsy, fraud-friendly arguments in a more visible forum.


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