To the Editor.
The 2010 statewide elections are more than a year away, but already there are
signs of political unrest with the candidates who are running or may run for
office on the Democratic ticket.
In the Supreme Court case Baker v Carr, later clarified in Reynolds v Sims, the
Court established in its holding, the now famous “one-person, one-vote”
Obviously this doctrine was not intended to be applied literally in a vacancy
selection process of publically elected officials. In fact, this method of
appointment vitiates the very notion of the “one-person, one-vote doctrine”.
The voters of the State of Colorado choose Ken Salazar to represent them in the
United States Senate. These same voters choose Bill Ritter to be the Governor of
the State of Colorado. The voters did not intend for Ritter to ultimately be able
to choose their Senator.
The Governor’s appointment of Michael Bennet to the vacant Salazar seat was a
lose-lose decision for him. It clearly underscores the need for change in the
selection process to fill these publically elected vacancy positions.
No one person should be put in the position to make these decisions alone. We
clearly need to conduct special public elections to fill these vacant seats when
The present appointment process can politically hurt the person who has to
make the decision, but more importantly split and curtail a party’s momentum.
While some disagreed with the Governor’s final decision, he did not ask to make
the selection, he was merely following the current law. Ritter was put in an
unfair, untenable, and unwise political conundrum.
We need to change our state’s vacancy selection process to public elections not
By Jim Martin