Tuesday morning, Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers initiated a removal of copies of the Collegian within 100 feet of the ballot drop-off location in the Lory Student Center, on the grounds that the cover, a photograph of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, constituted what is called “electioneering,” or campaigning near a voting center.
To clarify, the article in question was covering an event. If Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, Udall’s opponent in the upcoming Senate election, had visited Colorado State, this editorial board would have treated coverage the same, covering it as the newsworthy event it was. Our goal in news coverage is to provide accurate information so our readers can make informed decisions on who they vote for, and we were well within those bounds Tuesday morning.
By the end of the day, a collaborative effort through a cease and desist letter from our attorney and a combined media outcry from the Collegian student staff, other media outlets and many independent voices, the county clerk reversed her decision and said papers with further election coverage would remain in the racks.
This editorial board expresses its gratitude to all the elements of the system that responded to our First Amendment objection: to the legal team that directly and clearly expressed to the county clerk that our First Amendment rights were being violated, to the many individuals who helped spread the word on the removal and to the city officials for having the wherewithal to admit their error and rectify the mistake.
The important thing to remember in all this is the importance of our democratic principles, and our right to have a voice in government. The Collegian encourages students and community members to vote — for whomever they want.