Colorado State Senator Owen Hill Victorious In "Ballot Selfie" Case As Judge Orders Preliminary Injunction
The Plaintiffs in the Hill case were represented by a strong team including Michael Francisco of MRDLaw, former Colorado Solicitor General Daniel D. Domenico, now at Kittredge LLC, and Steve Klein, from the public interest Pillar of Law Institute in Washington D.C.
DENVER, Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, a Denver federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against an outdated Colorado statue that prohibits voters from showing their completed ballot. State Senator Owen Hill (R- Colorado Springs) was the lead plaintiff on the case brought forward to challenge the law. "Today is, quite simply, a big win for Colorado voters. In this crucial time leading up to Election Day, the court's ruling is proof that the First Amendment will continue to be a pillar holding up the roof of our Republic," Senator Hill said. "Coloradans can be assured they won't be prosecuted for taking a picture of their ballot in order to have their voice be heard." The "ballot selfie" hearing spanned two days and Judge Christine M. Arguello wrote on Friday in her order that: "By issuing an injunction in this case, Coloradans get what they are entitled to—clarity on an issue that implicates fundamental constitutional rights." Senator Hill observed that, "As we continue to make advancements in technology and grow into many new methods of communicating and sharing information we need to make sure our laws evolve with that - to advocate for free speech while still safeguarding important voter privacy." Hill testified that he personally had dozens of people who contacted him on social media after he called for the outdated statue to be ruled unconstitutional. A simple keyword search on various social media platforms reveal hundreds of examples of Coloradans posting their ballots and many others who openly expressed desire to share their ballots, but were intimidated or confused by messages sent by District Attorney offices throughout the state. "This order affirms the important free speech right of all voters to sharing ballot selfies without being prosecuted," the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Francisco, said. "We are pleased with the result and grateful to have this clarification before the election. After Tuesday we will seek a permanent injunction and declaration that this law is unconstitutional," Francisco concluded.