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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-1937-NYW
MICHEAL BACA, POLLY BACA, and ROBERT NEMANICH,
Plaintiffs
v.
WAYNE W. WILLIAMS, Colorado Secretary of State, in his individual capacity.
Defendant.


COMPLAINT


Defendant Wayne Williams, Colorado’s Secretary of State, under color of state law, threatened and intimidated Plaintiffs Micheal Baca, Polly Baca, and Robert Nemanich in the exercise of their federally protected rights as presidential Electors. This complaint seeks damages for this infringement of a fundamental federal right.

INTRODUCTION

  1. The United States Constitution secures to “Electors” the power to vote to select the President and Vice President of the United States.
  2. Colorado purports to control how an Elector exercises her franchise, by binding her, with the force of law, to vote for a particular candidate. See C.R.S. § 1-4-304.

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Final Complaint for the Equal Electors Lawsuit

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Our Current Project: Equal Votes

In a Democracy, All Votes Should Count Equally

In our democracy, when voting for the president, they do not

Because of the winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes, if you don’t vote for the candidate who wins your state, your vote counts for nothing. That violates the Constitution’s “one person, one vote” principle. Lawrence Lessig and an all-star legal team is filing a case in court to challenge this system. Join this fight for citizen equality.

Sep 04, 2020

Democracy Illustrated: A New Graphic Novel About Democracy [9-4-20]

In this episode, Adam Eichen speaks with MapLight president Daniel Newman, who just authored a new graphic novel about democracy reform, Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy. The two discuss the book, accessibility in storytelling, and the movement for reform.

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Aug 27, 2020

Larry Lessig talk with Andrew Yang [8-27-20]

Today, we bring you a recast of a recent of episode of Yang Speaks, in which Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig spoke with Andrew Yang about how we can reform our democracy. They discuss dialing for dollars, the theory that "slow democracy" can improve our political discourse, the media's impact on our democracy, and more.

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Aug 07, 2020

Bonus: Selecting the President, Today and In The Future (Recast) [8-7-20]

In this special episode, we bring you a recast of an episode of the Democracy Works podcast featuring Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig. He appeared with Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, and Michael Baranowski, associate professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University and host of The Politics Guys. They discussed the recent Supreme Court decisions about presidential electors, along with the future of reforming the Electoral College. It was hosted by Jenna Spinelle.

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Jul 24, 2020

Alan Khazei on our "Great Awakening" [7-24-20]

Larry Lessig talks to Alan Khazei, who is running for Congress in the Massachusetts' Fourth District, about "democracy entrepreneurs," ending corruption, and how to build a broad coalition to fight for reform.

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Jul 10, 2020

Rep. Ro Khanna Thinks Ending Corruption Is Possible [7-10-20]

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna speaks with Larry Lessig about his effort to reform our democracy, end corruption, and reduce the impact of money in politics. They talk about working with both Bernie, why Biden will sign reform, finding a way to a real "grand bargain" that can end corruption, and why it's important for activists to keep the pressure on Congress to pass reform. Support us on Patreon:

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Jul 02, 2020

Eight States Are Discriminating Against Young People [7-2-20]

On this episode, Jason Harrow and Adam Eichen discuss a new report released by Equal Citizens and a coalition of scholars and organizations. It argues that eight states are unconstitutionally skewing voting rights in favor of older Americans. The two discuss the details of the report, its ramifications, and next steps. You can read the report at . Support us on Patreon:

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Jun 25, 2020

Professor John Gastil on Bringing Reason Back Into Politics [6-25-20]

This week, Larry Lessig talks with John Gastil, a Professor at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, about how we can make better political decisions. They discuss the polarized media landscape and specific steps we can take to improve deliberation, understanding, and the use of reason. Support us on Patreon:

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Jun 19, 2020

The Remarkable Stories of Democracy Reform Victories in 2018 [6-19-20]

On this episode, journalist David Daley joins Adam Eichen to discuss his new book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy. To write the book, Daley embedded with democracy reform campaigns throughout the 2018 election cycle. Adam and Dave discuss their favorite success stories from the book and end with some thoughts about Daley's recent New York Times op-ed about the next frontier of gerrymandering. Purchase Unrigged: Read Daley's op-ed in the New York Times: Support us on Patreon:

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Jun 15, 2020

Adem Bunkeddeko on How To Finance Campaigns, and More [6-15-20]

Larry Lessig talks to Congressional candidate Adem Bunkeddeko, who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in New York's 9th District. They discuss his remarkable personal story and his support for vouchers that would revolutionize how politicians raise money. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Jun 11, 2020

Alex Morse on Congress's Fundraising Lifestyle [6-11-20]

Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig talks with Alex Morse, a candidate for Congress in the First District of Massachusetts, about how Congress really works. They talk about how fundraising permits Congresspeople to live above their means, and why it makes it hard for them to provide real solutions that would improve people's lives. He also explains why, without first reforming our democracy, we're not going to be able to make substantive progress on key policy priorities. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Jun 04, 2020

Mondaire Jones on Reforming Democracy From Congress [6-4-20]

In today's episode, Larry Lessig launches a new "season" of Another Way and explains why we want to talk about reforming our democracy and ending corruption by speaking with folks in or running for Congress and in the media. Our first guest in the series is Mondaire Jones, who is a Democratic candidate for New York's 17th District. They discuss Jones's background, voting in a pandemic, how to take on big money in politics, and more. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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May 28, 2020

The Supreme Court Arguments About Presidential Electors: Part 2 [5-28-20]

In the second part of a two-part series, we bring you the audio of the Supreme Court's hearing of Colorado Department of State v. Baca, the second of the "presidential elector" cases. The episode is introduced by Jason Harrow, who argued the case on behalf of the electors. The argument occurred on May 13. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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May 28, 2020

The Supreme Court Arguments About Presidential Electors: Part 1 [5-28-20]

In the first part of a two-part series, we bring you commentary as well as the audio of the Supreme Court's hearing of Chiafalo v. Washington, one of the "presidential elector" cases. Professor Larry Lessig, who argued the case on behalf of the electors, begins the episode with an important preface, explanation of the case, and commentary on the argument. We then replay the audio of the Supreme Court hearing, which occurred on May 13. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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May 07, 2020

The Presidential Electors From Colorado Go To the Supreme Court [5-7-20]

On today's episode, we follow-up our conversation with electors from Washington by talking with three electors from Colorado. Mike Baca, Polly Baca, and Bob Nemanich are the three plaintiffs in the case of Colorado Department of State v. Baca, which will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court by telephone on Wednesday, May 13. They describe how they came to be electors, what they were trying to do in 2016 when they contemplated voting for a candidate other than Hillary Clinton, and what it means to them to have the Supreme Court hear the case. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Apr 30, 2020

Larry Lessig Speaks To Presidential Electors From Washington [4-30-20]

On today's episode, we continue our discussion of the Supreme Court case about presidential electors. Larry Lessig discusses the 2016 presidential election with presidential electors from Washington State. The Supreme Court is set to hear their case on May 13. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Apr 23, 2020

A Voting Rights Roundup with Stephen Wolf [4-23-20]

On this episode, Adam Eichen speaks with Stephen Wolf, staff writer for Daily Kos Elections. The two discuss the recent Congressional stimulus package and what it means for our democracy, which states are adapting their elections to COVID-19, and how our unrepresentative electoral system skews politicians' response to the crisis. Note: As election laws are changing rapidly, much has changed since this podcast was recorded. Link to the Voting Rights Roundup mentioned in the episode: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/27/1931927/-Voting-Rights-Roundup-Congress-new-stimulus-law-doesn-t-do-enough-to-protect-voting-in-November Sign up to receive Stephen's Voting Rights Roundup: here: https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/forms/get-the-daily-kos-elections-voting-rights-roundup-over-email Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Apr 16, 2020

Jesse Wegman on Why We Should Let The People Pick The President [4-16-20]

On this week's episode, we bring you a recording of a live conversation between Equal Citizens' Jason Harrow and Jesse Wegman, a member of the New York Times editorial board. Jesse's new book is called Let The People Pick The President, and Jason and Jesse discussed the history of efforts to change to a popular vote for President, as well as the current push through the National Popular Vote Compact. Thanks to the Leadership Now Project for hosting this wonderful virtual discussion. You can learn more about Leadership Now at https://www.leadershipnowproject.org/. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Apr 09, 2020

Senator Ron Wyden on Voting During A Pandemic [4-9-20]

In this special episode, Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig talks with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden [D-Or.] about how to protect our elections in this time of crisis. Wyden was the first Senator elected entirely in a mail-in election, and he has emerged as a champion of mail-in voting as the way to ensure we can all vote safely in elections for the remainder of this year. They discuss Wyden's bill as well as what happened in Wisconsin's recent primary that makes vivid the need for immediate reform. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Apr 02, 2020

The Argument For Why Presidential Electors Should Be Free [4-2-20]

In today's episode, Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig and chief counsel Jason Harrow dive deeply in their case about presidential electors, which is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the episode—the first in a multi-part series—they describe how the text, history, and structure of the Constitution require that presidential electors be free to vote for whatever candidate they wish. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Mar 26, 2020

Rick Hasen On Voting From Home In A Crisis [3-26-20]

On this week's episode, Jason Harrow and Adam Eichen of Equal Citizens talk with election law expert Rick Hasen about the impact of COVID-19 on our democracy. Rick is a professor at UC Irvine and the author of the Election Law Blog and the new and eerily-prescient book Election Meltdown. Rick discusses the importance of expanding voting from home and absentee balloting, whether elections can be "cancelled," and other impacts the coronavirus will have on our elections. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Mar 20, 2020

How VoteRiders Is Helping A Million People Get Voter ID [3-20-2020]

In today's episode, Jason Harrow talks with Kathleen Unger, the founder of VoteRiders, about voter ID laws and how her organization is helping more than 1 million people get identification so that they can vote. They discuss the prevalence of voter ID laws, how difficult and expensive it often is to get id, and how the coronavirus crisis is making things even worse. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Mar 05, 2020

Why Some States Are Moving To Vote At Home [3-5-2020]

On this episode, Adam Eichen is joined by Phil Keisling, Chair of the National Vote at Home Institute (www.voteathome.org). The two discuss the spread of Vote at Home—a reform that requires states to mail every voter their ballot before the election—and why this may well be the next frontier of voting reform. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Feb 27, 2020

Bernie Sanders on His Democracy Reform Platform [2-27-2020]

With Super Tuesday only days away, we bring you an encore of our conversation about the state of our democracy with Bernie Sanders, the current polling leader for the Democratic nomination. The conversation took place in December in New Hampshire with hosts Larry Lessig and Zephyr Teachout. In it, Bernie promised to make democracy reform a number one priority. Note: this podcast does not constitute an endorsement of Senator Sanders, or any candidate. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Feb 20, 2020

State of the Race + Improving Democracy in 2024 [2-20-2020]

This week, Jason Harrow and Adam Eichen of Equal Citizens recap the Democratic presidential primary. How important has democracy reform for voters? For the media? Adam then tells stories from the ground in New Hampshire. They conclude by discussing ideas to make the 2024 primaries more small-d democratic. Feedback welcome to [email protected] Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Feb 14, 2020

How Journalists Follow The Money [2-14-2020]

Adam Eichen is joined by Andrew Perez, a writer and researcher who spent five years as a money-in-politics investigative reporter. Andrew reveals how he uncovered his biggest stories, why money can be so hard to track, and why we need more journalists—now more than ever. Please note: This episode was recorded prior to the Iowa caucuses and does not include information from the most recent FEC filing. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

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Feb 06, 2020

Ezra Klein on Why We're Polarized [2-6-2020]

In this special episode, Larry Lessig speaks with Ezra Klein, the Vox media founder and host of the Ezra Klein Show, at a live event in Boston. They discuss Ezra's new book "Why We're Polarized" and discuss why it's really the system and the parties—and not the particular policy disagreements between politicians or the public—that have made our democracy so dysfunctional. The event was held in Back Bay in Boston and hosted by the Harvard bookstore. The audio is courtesy of the wonderful folks at the Forum Network at WGBH Boston. They are in the process of posting video from the event to https://forum-network.org/lectures/why-were-polarized-book-discussion-ezra-klein/. You can support this podcast on Patreon at patreon.com/EqualCitizens, and you can find our whole archive online at equalcitizens.us/anotherway.

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Jan 30, 2020

Why The Census Matters [1-30-2020]

In this episode, Adam Eichen is joined by Beth Huang, executive director of Massachusetts Voter Table. The two discuss how the decennial census works, why it is so important, the difficulties involved in enumeration, and what groups are doing to ensure an accurate count. Ultimately, they argue, the census is about power and which voices are heard in our democracy. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens.

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Jan 23, 2020

End Citizens United's Tiffany Muller on Ten Years of Citizens United [1-23-2020]

Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig speaks with Tiffany Muller, the founder of End Citizens United. The unfortunate occasion is the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. Tiffany explains not only the problems that big money has caused but also how we need a comprehensive solution that does more than just overturn Citizens United.

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Jan 16, 2020

Nick Penniman On Why Democracy Reform Is Issue One [1-16-20]

Larry Lessig speaks with Issue One's Nick Penniman about why Nick left journalism to begin tackling the problem of fixing our democracy. Nick then discusses the difference between putting policies on websites and having politicians prioritize real reform that would de-rig the system and enable real change to happen. And they discuss how to build a coalition across the left, right, and center to at last get the change that 80-90% of the public wants to see happen.

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Jan 14, 2020

Bonus: Democracy Town Hall With Bernie Sanders [1-14-20]

As a bonus episode, we bring your our recent conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders on all things democracy reform. Bernie sat down with Equal Citizens' Larry Lessig and reform advocate Zephyr Teachout to discuss gerrymandering, how to fix our broken campaign finance system, how to end corruption, and much more. Note that this episode was released early to Patreon subscribers. To subscribe, check out Patreon.com/EqualCitizens.

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