NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Legal fight over Colorado ballot selfies cost taxpayers nearly $135,000

Posted at 8:00 PM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 01:27:08-05

Records obtained by Denver7 Investigates show Colorado taxpayers spent nearly $135,000 on a legal fight challenging the law that once banned so-called “ballot selfies.”

Citizens filed two separate lawsuits before the 2016 election, claiming their civil rights were being violated because they could be prosecuted for taking pictures of their completed ballots.

In response to the lawsuits, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction just days before the election that prevented prosecutors from filing charges.

In July, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a law that removes the criminal penalty. That same month, state records show the state paid out two separate settlements to resolve the two lawsuits totaling close to $122,000 to cover the plaintiffs' attorneys fees.

In addition to the settlements, taxpayers also picked up the bill for private attorneys who defended a government official named in the suit. Records obtained from the Denver District Attorney's Office show Denver taxpayers spent $13,275 on a private law firm that defended former DA Mitch Morrissey.