KUSA - A group defending state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminster) from a recall petition has taken its tactic of scaring voters out of signing the petition to the next level.
The "Democracy Defense Fund" launched a robocall in the senator's district with the same message that appeared on printed door hangers in October: http://on9news.tv/17YqKlP.
Hudak is being targeted for a recall as a response to her support for new gun control laws, a tactic that earlier this year ousted two state legislators for the first time in Colorado history.
To some residents, the robocall from recall opponents sounded like a reverse emergency notification from local authorities.
"It sounds like a warning from police to me," Westminster resident Julia Schell said.
"This is a community alert for Arvada and Westminster from the Democracy Defense fund," a female announcer declares at the beginning of the recorded message. "Paid signature-gatherers who have not gone through a criminal background check could be in Westminster and Arvada this week asking for signatures in a recall petition."
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO HERE: http://on9news.tv/HPIAl4
The announcer instructs the listener not to sign the petition, warning that personal information could be collected by someone who has not gone through a background check.
"If you sign this petition, your signature and personal information will become public record, available for anyone to access," said the announcer.
Schell contacted 9NEWS wondering why there was no news coverage of the potential threat in her neighborhood.
While the claims in the campaign call are not false, recall supporters feel they are disingenuous and alarmist.
Schell said she was genuinely concerned for her safety after hearing the message and didn't think it was an appropriate way for a political movement to operate.
"If it's just telling you to vote for something, it's overkill," said Schell.
Cheryl Cheney with the Democracy Defense Fund says the group has identified criminals working with the pro-recall movement.
The group was unable to provide verifiable evidence to 9NEWS in support of this claim.
Supporters of the recall will need to turn in nearly 20,000 signatures in early December in order to force a recall election.
If Sen. Hudak were defeated in an election, Democrats would lose their majority in the state senate.
Hudak would have the option of avoiding that political shift of power.
State law would allow her to step down, enabling Democrats to form a vacancy committee to select her replacement.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)