Signs urge Northglenn residents to call police on canvassers

Basically, the signs encourage you to call police if someone tries to talk to you about your vote. Strange? Yes. Simple? No.

NORTHGLENN, COLO. - It's a sign… of something funny going on in Northglenn.

This week, a few yard signs popped up among the political signs, but they weren't encouraging a candidate or an issue.

"What it says is 'Call Police, if someone knocks on your door asking about your vote or ballot,'" said the sign's creator Wayne Dodge.

The sign also had the words, "Your Vote/Your Right" at the bottom, next to a bogus gold "Certified" seal.

"Certified looked official," said Dodge.

The name Dodge in Northglenn might sound familiar. His wife, Carol, is on City Council and is running for mayor.

"I talked to Wayne, and I said, 'You don't know anything about this sign correct?' And he's like, 'Yeah, no, I did the signs.' And I thought, 'Yeah, it was a big issue.' He and I fought about it. I said, 'What are you doing to me, I'm running in an election,'" said Carol Dodge. "Total blind side, and believe me, we've talked, so it's an issue."

Wayne Dodge, who owns a sign company, actually went to a competitor to have five-yard signs made. He said he couldn't do it as quickly and didn't have the right equipment.

He said the reason he printed the signs is that a few of his senior-aged friends complained to him about recent visits by canvassers at their doors.

"They felt intimidated by somebody, the canvassers, that were coming around. The four people that I talked to said that they felt intimidated," said Dodge. "And all of them had the same kind of thing; if you need 'information,' we're here to help or help you do your ballot. (They) wanted to come inside, go through stuff with them, help them vote and then take their ballot with them."

We double-checked with Adams County Clerk and Recorder Stan Martin, who confirmed that state law requires anyone other than an Election Judge to sign a voter assistance form before they can help that person with their ballot.

It is not illegal to have someone ask for and deliver your ballot for you, but Martin recommends taking it yourself.

He said these are violations under the Election Code:

>     Causing a person to fraudulently deposit a defective ballot (example might be altering timing marks on the ballot)
>     Can’t ask someone to show you how they marked a ballot
>     No one can communicate to another person how they believe someone else voted
>     Generally, it's unlawful for anyone to impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with the voting process
>     Can't delay delivery of a person’s ballot
>     Cannot promise money or employment in exchange for a vote

"I should have had it, 'if you feel intimidated while they're asking about your vote and stuff,'" said Wayne Dodge.

"I don't feel bad about what I did, even though I know I could have done something different, but I felt bad that I messed with her election and I can never take that back."

"It's voter education. He's wrong, he shouldn't have put up such a dumb sign. I get that part of it," said Carol Dodge. "This sign is voter awareness. Don't twist it to say it's voter suppression. It is not."

A funny thing happened to Next reporter Marshall Zelinger as he investigated a tip about these signs on Thursday. We drove around Northglenn to a few specific locations looking for proof the signs existed. We were finally directed to one, but it was at a location where we had been five minutes earlier when there was no sign.

9NEWS asked if Wayne Dodge put the sign across from a fire station on Huron Street and Naiad Drive.

"I did not put that there, no," said Wayne Dodge. "All the ones I put up are gone. Now, have they moved elsewhere? I don't know."

Bottom line: if you continue to see the "Call Police" sign out there, ignore it. If someone comes to your door to talk about the election and they're bothering you, close the door. If you think they're intimidating, try to identify who they are or who they work for and call the police.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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