CASTLE ROCK, Colo. - An 18th Judicial District Judge Monday dismissed a case against the Town of Castle Rock, the Town Clerk and the Town’s Election Commissioners, saying the complainant did not have necessary jurisdiction to file the petition.
In January, the town council voted to allow the open carry of firearms in town buildings and parks but not schools or courts. Residents who opposed the move forced an election on the issue.
Currently, the town manager has the authority over the open carry of firearms in public buildings and parks. Voters are being asked whether to remove that authority and whether future decisions on gun restrictions should be left to voters to decide.
However, Castle Rock was formally named in a lawsuit Saturday regarding the processing of mail ballots for the Aug. 19 special election. Specifically, the nonresident complainant, Marilyn Marks, asked the judge to halt the processing of ballots, deem the election invalid, and schedule a new election. The judge denied all requests.
The town describes Marks as neither a registered voter in the Town of Castle Rock nor a Castle Rock resident. Marks is a Denver resident and registered agent for a local issue committee called Committee for Constitutional Rights, according to the town's website.
Therefore, the judge ruled that Marks did not have proper standing to file the petition
In addition, the town said the judge ruled Marks was using the State's Municipal Election Code as a basis for her complaints. Castle Rock is a home rule municipality, which means most of how the Town is governed, including elections, is established in the Town Charter and the Town Election Code, rather than the State’s Municipal Election Code.
Nearly 32,000 ballots were issued in this election and the town says about 6,000 were returned by Friday.
Ballot processing will continue Tuesday morning. Polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Voters can drop off ballots at one of two locations:
- Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St., from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Douglas County Elections Office, 125 Stephanie Place, where a 24-hour drop box is available.
Results are not expected Tuesday night because the Town had to stop processing ballots to accommodate this litigation.