Colorado voters find a surprise at one polling place: thousands of crosses protesting abortion

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Boulder County voters whose polling place is Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church on South Boulder Road can expect to walk past an anti-abortion display — including thousands of crosses representing aborted fetuses — when they go to cast their ballots Tuesday.

County election officials said the display does not appear to violate any rules for polling places, but they will allow voters assigned to Sacred Heart of Mary to vote elsewhere Tuesday — and the county will no longer use the church as a polling place in future elections.

“Our concern is that people are going to feel a sense of conflict with regard to voting at this church,” said Molly Tayer, Boulder County’s deputy clerk and election coordinator.

Tayer said a church representative initially told the clerk’s office that the display, erected in October for Respect Life Month, would be taken down the first weekend in November. According to Tayer, that person called back on Friday to say that, “Father has elected to keep it up.”

The Rev. Marcus Mallick is the priest at Sacred Heart of Mary. Church representatives on Monday referred questions to the Archdiocese of Denver, where a spokeswoman said the display is not meant to influence voters, but to continue a ministry that reaches out to women considering abortion and those who have undergone abortions in the past.

“These are ‘Respect Life’ signs to bring awareness to the issue,” said Karna Swanson, the diocese’s spokeswoman. “The decision to keep them up was based on the success of that ministry.”

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