As the Broomfield Enterprise's Megan Quinn reports:
A Broomfield judge has upheld the results of the embattled Nov. 5 election.
Judge Chris Melonakis released his decision Thursday evening. In his decision, he said Broomfield acted in good faith when conducting the election and that the results should not be tossed out…
Though the election was far from perfect, it was not illegal, he said.
"The steps taken (by Broomfield) were a reasonable, if imperfect attempt to insure full extension of the franchise and prevention of voter fraud," Melonakis said in his ruling.
The biggest issue here was always the unusual razor-thin of the election, more than confusion with the first use of new residency rules passed under last year's House Bill 1303 or any other factor. The fact is, any time you have a hotly-contested question decided by just 20 votes, all parties with a stake in the outcome are going to push any circumstantial leverage they can find to tip the scales in their favor. Usual suspect Republican detractors of House Bill 1303 were only too happy to pile on–but today, Broomfield elections officials are the ones smiling.
The success of Broomfield's Question 300, however narrow, means that every one of the local moratoria and bans on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," for oil and gas that appeared on municipal ballots in Colorado last year was passed. That fact stands in stark contrast to the insistence by the oil and gas industry that their opponents are a small activist "fringe." These are not statewide bans, but decisions by local communities to restrict a dangerous industrial land use within their boundaries. Attempts by the oil and gas industry, and even Colorado public officials, to marginalize this pushback are increasingly without rational basis. The next question is whether a statewide constitutional initiative to empower local communities to take the same action can pass. Again, not an unrealistic statewide "ban on fracking," but an endorsement of local control.
If these results are any indication, the answer is "yes"–and it's a political reality that can't be ignored.