Response to Election Bills: Empower Voters. Defend Democracy
Celeste Landry, Gaythia Weis, Peggy Leech & Linda Sorauf
The “Stop the Steal” movement and accusations against Dominion Voting Systems (headquartered in Colorado) have served to increase the level of distrust in our elections. Legislatures across the US have tried to capitalize on this mood, and Colorado is not immune. Colorado is somewhat unique, however, because we have all-mail voting and are admired and respected for our post-election audits.
In this environment and with both Colorado chambers controlled by a Democratic majority, the Republican-sponsored election bills in this paragraph have already met a quick end. Using our own descriptive titles, the bills would have:
Made voting more difficult (LWVCO strongly opposed)
SB 007: Default to in-person voting
HB 1086: Proof of citizenship to vote
Questioned Colorado’s election results and audits (Secretary of State argued that these were unnecessary)
HB 1053: Allow any voter to request a recount
HB 1088: Annual audit of voter registration system
HB 1176: Create a commission on auditing election processes
Fixed a loophole or worked to improve processes
SB 010: Requirements for a Witness of an Elector’s Ballot
HB 1170: Committee on Elections and Information Technology
In addition, our Legislative Action Committee (LAC) Elections Team felt that SB 010 and HB 1170 had merit, but were, respectively, too extreme and too political. We would welcome similar, but improved, bills in a future session. The League supports HB 1011: Hotline for Ballot Language Translations which could increase voter education and participation. HB 1011 and the remaining following bills are all moving through the legislative process.
We have been working with the stakeholders of SB 188: Electronic Ballot Return for Voters with Disabilities. Currently, such voters can receive and mark a ballot electronically, but must print and submit a paper ballot. Because internet voting is not secure, LWVUS encourages submission of a paper ballot whenever possible. We are hoping that the bill sponsor will limit electronic ballot return to voters with a print disability, rather than allow more widespread internet voting.