Testimony in Opposition to SB22 153

Good afternoon, ladies, and gentlemen of the committee.  Thank you for this hearing and the opportunity to testify against it.  My name is Todd Watkins, I am a resident of El Paso County and I represent myself.

Article four of the US Constitution guarantees us a republican form of government.  Fundamental to this guarantee are elections and voting.  Elections represent the voice of We The People — we who established our government and consent to be governed.  In order for the people to have confidence in our elections, and by extension our government, the control of elections must remain as close to We The People as possible.  In other words, elections must be administered and controlled locally.  This bill, SB22-153, is in contravention with these ideals.  This bill strips local control of elections and consolidates it within the state — specifically with the Secretary of State.  A centralized electoral process is symptomatic of a centralized government which is contrary to the founding principles of our nation (the aforementioned republican from of government) – Our nation’s principles clearly intend that government and governance be seated with the people.  In order for the people to have confidence and trust in our elections, we must be in control of our elections by way of our local officials who are accountable to us.  This bill will do the exact opposite of that by relocating electoral control to the Secretary of State — essentially creating the Secretary of State as an election czar and king maker.  Nothing this bill proposes comports with the ideals of free and open elections, election transparency, or popular locus of control of government. President Lincoln reaffirmed our founding principles stating that “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision.”  Conversely, Joseph Stalin is infamously quoted as stating that “Those who vote decide nothing.  Those who count the votes decide everything.”  Passage of SB22-153 brings this latter quote closer to reality.  This body must not act independently of the will of the people. We The People demand that you act as our representatives.  Faithfully represent our will and kill this totalitarian bill.

Throughout this legislative session, this body has striven to consolidate power, create larger and more expansive government, and invent and grant greater powers to the executive branch of this state that either don’t exist or are constitutionally prohibited.  We The People of Colorado call upon you, the legislative branch, to faithfully represent us and perform the checks and balances that we elected you to perform.  Our government was created to be small and limited.  This is your job.  Do it.  Kill this bill.       

-Todd Watkins