Was Ballot Wording Misleading?

By: Karen Morfitt Email
By: Karen Morfitt Email

Some voters who say they were misled by part of last year's El Paso County ballot are demanding a do-over.

Monday night, The Board of El Paso County Commissioners heard from angry voters who claim the issue involving term limits on the November 2010 ballot was worded in a way that confused voters into approving it.

This is the issue the way issue 1C appeared on the ballot.

Shall persons elected to the office of county commissioner be limited to serving three (3) consecutive terms, a modification of the current limits permitted by article xviii section 11 of the Colorado constitution?

Issues 1B and 1D read similar to that, but focused on the District Attorney's office and other elected county officials, like the clerk and recorder.

Some voters like Roger Shambaugh say the wording still raises some serious concerns. "You have got to be able to trust your government personnel," said Shambaugh.

Shambaugh and several others who showed up for the county commissioners meeting Monday night say the way the issue appeared on the ballot was misleading.

Sallie Clark, a member of the board of commissioners, disagrees. "I think the ballot language was clear and it passed with more than 64 percent of the vote and so you have to have respect for that as well,” Clark said.”

Others like Lois Lambgraf say it comes down to personal responsibility. “People who vote should know what they are voting for; they should take the time to research the issue," Lambgraf said.

Now that both sides have been heard it's up to the commissioners to decide if the issue will be put back on this year’s ballot and if so, how it will be worded.

County commissioners will hold a second meeting on Thursday, June 30 at 9 a.m. at the County Office Building at 27 east Vermijo
to discuss whether or not to put the issue back on the ballot. The meeting is open to the public.

11 News will follow-up with county leaders to find out what they decide.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Donna Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    Of course the wording was deliberately misleading! Who runs things around here? I rest my case!
  • by FarginBastige on Jun 29, 2011 at 09:41 AM
    Misleading?? By our elected representatives?? Say it aint so! I learned a long time ago to never take a ballot at face value. The questions are intentionally misleading. Anybody who doesn't take the time to research the matter shouldn't be allowed to vote. The more straightforward a question seems, the harder it should be researched. Just my opinion.
  • by Marcia on Jun 29, 2011 at 09:36 AM
    The ballot was intentionally misleading. The Commissioners state it was worded similar to others within the state...which others? How has other similar ballot issues within this county been worded? But no matter what the citizens say, I really doubt that the issue will go up for a re-vote. The Commissioners are trying to appear to play 'nice' and give the citizens the impression that a re-vote would be considered when I believe they have no intention of putting the issue to a re-vote. They will cite all sorts of reasons why their deceitfullness should not be reconsidered. As Sallie Clark tried in the beginning to put the issue to rest by saying...let's just move on.
  • by f Location: sw on Jun 29, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    The wording was misleading and I suspect intentionally, "limited to 3 terms" is not the same as "increase the limit to 3 terms".
  • by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2011 at 06:15 AM
    Why it has not revealed who wrote it and who reviewed it?
  • by Dan'o Location: CS on Jun 29, 2011 at 05:59 AM
    This is a bunch of complaining done on behalf of people that are claiming they misunderstood the question. I suspect it is more about people that wanted current, stong candidates in those positions to have to vacate, giving weaker candidates a chance to get in. The informed voter reads through the voting guide, makes sure they understand the question, and votes based on the question- not the title of the measure. Who is really behind this flap?
  • by Jerome Location: Colo Spgs on Jun 28, 2011 at 04:28 PM
    If this last vote stands or it's resubmitted to the ballot I do believe one thing has been made clear from all of this. The way Sally Clark has hadled this issue she has rendered a self inflicted Term Limit on herself.
  • by BigR Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM
    If you don't understand a question on a ballot then why in the world would you even vote one way or the other. Leave it blank if you don't understand it. At least you wouldn't vote for something you didn't want.
  • by Bob on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM
    I feel the wording was misleading. If you answer “No, they should not be limited to three terms,” it suggests that they should not be limited rather than suggesting they should be limited to two terms. Anyone who had a stake in this should have researched it.
  • by Frostyolman Location: COS on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    The language is misleading by it's omission of the fact that the term limits were already set at two consecutive terms... Should the voters have paid more attention? Probably, and to be sure WE should all be paying attention now, and making sure the people responsible for this are held resposnible...We should be talking about RECALL votes...
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