Court issues ruling on Colorado recall vote system

DENVER - The Colorado Supreme Court has reaffirmed its decision in two Colorado legislative recall elections that voters do not have to first vote "yes" or "no" on the recall to have their votes for a successor validated.

The Colorado high court said Monday a state constitutional requirement that voters must first vote on the recall before voting for a candidate violates rights to voting and expression under the U.S. Constitution. The court's written ruling came in response to a question from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The election went ahead as scheduled and Democratic Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Democratic Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo were ousted in an election seen as a national measure of popular support for gun legislation. They were replaced by two gun-rights Republicans.

Morse lost his bid to stay in office by 343 votes.

17,845 people voted in Morse's district in Colorado Springs. 50.96 percent of them voted to oust Morse. 49 percent voted to retain Morse.

In Giron's district, the margin was wider. Of the 34,556 people that voted, 56 percent voted to recall Giron while 44 percent voted to keep her.

Giron was replaced by former Pueblo deputy chief of police George Rivera. Morse was replaced by Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin.