My decision to file a federal lawsuit challenging the inequity in the state statute regarding unaffiliated candidates
access to the ballot is based on fairness, directly related to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United
States, not as a work-around for missing the filing deadline.
This lawsuit affects us all but especially the one-third of Coloradans - including La Plata County - who identify
themselves as unaffiliated voters and those who may be affiliated with a party and choose not vote the party line in
every election. I want equality in our laws and am surprised to find that some within the political parties do not. The
Constitution of the United States does not mention political parties, but it does state that voting is one of our most
For me, changing my affiliation to independent has been one of the proudest decisions I have made during my time in
office. It has opened the door literally and figuratively as more and more people come to me with their concerns and
ideas and know that I am not listening with partisan ears and will not react using partisan rules. I value differing
opinions and the best solutions for all constituents, and I have found independence has opened up more possibilities
for people to come together and achieve what's best for our community regardless of age, race, gender or political
I filed this lawsuit for the benefit of all Coloradans - especially those who want a democracy based on fair and equal
laws for all its residents, not just a few. Unaffiliated or independent voters are not second-class citizens, and it's
time the law is reflected as such.
Joelle Riddle, La Plata County