The November 2013 coordinated election was the first in which all active registered Colorado voters automatically received a mail ballot. As an off-year election, and one in which most Colorado voters would have received a mail ballot even under the prior law, it was not a full test of the COVAME reforms. However, expanded registration options were used by many voters and there were no problems reported by local election officials with the registration process. Mail ballots were processed in a timely manner and there were no reports of unusual signature matching problems. The most telling indicia of success was from the calls that Colorado Common Cause took on our voter hotline. We were able to give voters information about their nearest voter service center and assurances that whatever problem they had – from failure to get a mail ballot because they moved, to not knowing where to drop off their ballot or whether they could vote in person – would be solved at that one-stop location.
We expect the 2014 elections to be equally successful, and the winners will be voters. No eligible citizen will be told that they cannot vote because of a missed deadline, a move or their inability to get to a clerk’s office. Clearly, election reform in Colorado is a big win for state voters.