Top Dem: Colorado losses due to 'voter suppression, pure and simple'

Successful recall elections Tuesday of two Democratic state senators in Colorado were because of “voter suppression, pure and simple,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday.

Wasserman Schultz blamed lawsuits filed by opponents of gun control to prevent voters from mailing in ballots, the late announcement of polling locations, and “efforts by the NRA, the Koch brothers and other right wing groups who know that when more people vote, Democrats win.”

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“The recall elections in Colorado were defined by the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people,” Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic lawmaker from Florida, said in a statement. “This was voter suppression, pure and simple.”

The recall effort in Colorado was backed by the National Rifle Association, which faulted the two Democrats for supporting gun control measures the group said lessened Second Amendment rights. “This effort was driven by concerned citizens, who made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked diligently to turn voters out in this historic effort,” the NRA said in a statement after the defeat of Colorado state Senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron.

Twelve people were killed in a 2012 shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. The killings re-energized the debate over gun control.

The ousted state senators will be replaced by two Republicans who made the ballot through a petition. The gun control measures the state legislature passed will remain intact, and Democrats still hold majorities in the state’s House and Senate, and hold the governorship, as well.