Avon Recall Election
In 2020, a small group of Avon citizens formed the Avon Recall Committee for the purpose of recalling Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilor Tamra Underwood. The Town of Avon and the Recall Committee disagree on the number of signatures required to trigger a recall under state law. State law provides an election is triggered when a petition is signed by registered voters equaling 25% or more of the “entire vote cast" at the election in which the council member to be recalled was elected.
Many communities in Colorado interpret “entire vote cast” to mean the vote and under vote. The Town believes this interpretation is correct while the Recall Committee believes the proper method requires counting all votes cast. There is no guidance from any court as to the correct method.
In order to resolve this legal issue, the Town sought a Declaratory Judgment from Eagle County District Court Judge Granger. On June 23rd Judge Granger issued an order finding the Town’s interpretation is incorrect and directing the Town to hold a recall election for both Mayor Smith Hymes and Councilor Underwood.
While the Town has deep respect for Judge Granger, the Town is extremely disappointed that his Order failed to address significant issues raised by the Town, including important issues relating to the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Avon voters. To the extent the judge did address arguments raised by the Town, he omitted several important facts and legal provisions in his analysis, which facts and provisions would have impacted his analysis.
Given that the judge’s Order fails to fully answer the important legal question raised by the Town that impact the Town as well as municipalities throughout Colorado, the Avon Town Council voted to pursue an appeal of the Order. The Town will file an appeal immediately and will request to stay the recall election until such time as the Colorado Court of Appeals issues a ruling.
The Avon Town Council voted in open session to pursue the appeal. This vote can be viewed here.