Elections activist Marilyn Marks asks Supreme Court for a rehearing in CORA lawsuit

From The Mountain Mail (Salida):  Election transparency advocate Marilyn Marks filed a petition Tuesday for a rehearing with the Colorado Supreme Court in her case against Chaffee County.

Her case stems from a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request she made of then-Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Joyce Reno. In 2011 Marks asked to see a voted ballot from the county’s previous general election.

Reno was concerned that Marks might be able to identify the ballot’s voter. So she withheld the ballot and asked the district court to rule whether it is a public record.

Before that case could be settled, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill defining voted ballots as public records, putting the issue to rest. However, Marks wanted the county to pay her attorney fees since she had prevailed in getting the contested document.

In some cases, CORA law requires a records custodian to pay for the requester’s attorney if the matter went to court and the custodian lost.

But 11th Judicial District Chief Judge Charles Barton found Marks was not entitled to attorney fees, ruling the clerk’s withholding of the ballot was “reasonable and necessary.”

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