Some Coloradans don't like recent legislative outcomes, so they're interested in either changing them or punishing lawmakers for taking certain positions.
To wit: Gov. Jared Polis and a Democratic state House member are reportedly being eyed for recall attempts. A recall petition can't begin to circulate until Polis has been in office for six months. That would be around July 8, so we'll have to wait and see whether that recall attempt gets off the ground.
But a petition is already circulating to undo a law that Polis signed earlier this year. A group is gathering signatures to get a measure onto next year's ballot that calls for reversing a bill approved by the Legislature for Colorado to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
We're not here to discuss the merits of the Electoral College system of choosing a president or how the National Popular Vote compact circumvents it. Rather, we want to emphasize a point we've made often — elections have consequences.
We send delegates to the capital to do the people's business. If you don't like how they're conducting business, the proper remedy is to vote them out of office.
But we're seeing with more frequency efforts to "cure" legislative action through the citizen's initiative process. When some voters don't like what their representative government does, they demand to let the people accept or reject the action.
Which kind of defeats the purpose of representation.
Mounting a petition drive for the opportunity to overturn a decision by a duly elected body is very much like attempting to recall a lawmaker for not voting the way you think they should.
Recall is a tool voters should use only to remove people from office who are seriously negligent in performing their duties or are engaged in official misconduct.
Throughout its history, The Sentinel has taken the position that recalls are only appropriate in cases of malfeasance or incapacity. Competence is in the eye of beholder. One voter's anger over a legislator's record is another's joy. There's a huge difference between recalling someone because they are corrupt and trying to remove them from office because you disagree with their policies.
Last fall, Colorado voters elected representatives to the General Assembly, which decided to make Colorado part of a compact whose members pledge (after enough states join) to award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. The duly elected governor signed the bill. That should be the end of the story as far as we're concerned.
Instead, the initiative, if it passes, would kick back to voters the determination about whether Colorado should join the compact. That strikes us as a lot like a recall. The voters spoke when they elected this state Legislature. Whether you support the compact or not, the appropriate remedy is electing different legislators, not revisiting a duly-passed law.