UPDATE: (5/3/13) The House just re-passed the bill with the Senate amendments! The Governor is up next.
UPDATE: (5/2/13) We've made it through Third Reading in the Senate!
UPDATE: (4/19/13) The Colorado Voter Access & Modernized Elections Act passed through the Colorado House this morning. We will likely see it introduced in the Colorado Senate early next week.
You may have been one of the lucky voters in Colorado who voted without any problems, but there were many who weren't so lucky. Long lines, arbitrary deadlines and lack of clarity about receiving a mail ballot are the most common barriers that kept some Colorado voters from exercising their right to vote.
A bill was just introduced in the Colorado General Assembly that can lower these barriers. The Colorado Voter Access & Modernized Elections Act (HB13-1303) will simplify the election system. It will give consistency to the voter, and a mail ballot to every voter and a choice of how to cast their vote. They can mail it in, take it to a service center and drop it off, or vote in-person during early voting or on Election Day.
Here are the basics of the bill:
- Allow Colorado citizens to register to vote through Election Day.
- Colorado is the only state in the country where voters are penalized for not voting in a single election. This would eliminate the category of "Inactive-Failed to Vote."
- Provide more locations where voters can correct their registration information and resolve problems with their ballots.
- Create a convenient process of address changing during an election year, ensuring that no one misses an opportunity to vote.
- Establish early voting on the weekend before Election Day.
We have been a trendsetter in Colorado for elections policy. This bill will help us set the bar again.
Editorial Durango Herald Voter access: Improving efficiency, expanding options a good move for democracy
Editorial Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Voting bill provides needed protections
Office: Colorado Common Cause