clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Denver judge rules voters have no 'fundamental right' to a secret ballot

New, 44 comments

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit attempting to ban the practice of printing identifying barcodes on ballots.

Colorado state flag | Flickr
Colorado state flag | Flickr

While many of us work under the assumption that our votes should be kept secret, a recent federal court ruling in Colorado challenges that common belief. As the Denver Post reports, on Friday a US district judge in Denver recently dismissed a lawsuit filed in response to counties printing ballots with identifying barcodes. Judge Christine Arguello ruled that voters don't have a "fundamental right" to a secret ballot, and thus dismissed the suit. Back in August the Aspen-based Citizen Center filed a restraining order to temporarily ban the use of the barcodes, which it described as both "traceable" and "voter-identifying."

"Absolutely shocking."

At that time Citizen Center attorney Robert McGuire said that, based on Colorado Supreme Court rulings, votes with identifying marks "will be in jeopardy of being thrown out" come time for the presidential election in November. The group says that the barcodes are currently standard in at least 44 counties across the state, and it's currently deciding whether to appeal the federal ruling or take the case to a Colorado district court, with founder Marilyn Marks calling Fridays decision "absolutely shocking."