Bill to Improve Colorado Elections Moves Forward

DENVER, CO– The House State, Civic, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee today advanced legislation to improve Colorado’s gold standard elections system. 

“Colorado leads the nation when it comes to ballot access and election security,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “One of the hallmarks of our system is that we are always looking at how we can make it better. While Republicans in the legislature have made multiple attempts this year to dismantle Colorado’s vote-by-mail system and restrict access to voting, Democrats have steadfastly protected Colorado’s gold standard election system, and now we’re making it better.” 

“The bill we passed today will improve Colorado’s election system by implementing the recommendations and findings of a group of bipartisan, statewide election officials,” said Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton.  “It improves drop boxes and voter services and prohibits disruptive electioneering tactics near polling locations. Importantly, the bill increases transparency in recall efforts and makes it easier for Coloradans to complete their voter registration online using the last four digits of their social security number if they don’t have a driver’s license.”

SB21-250, sponsored by Representatives Susan Lontine and Yadira Caraveo, stems from the recommendations and findings of Colorado’s sixty-four county clerks, the Secretary of State, and other stakeholders. It makes clarifications, adjustments, and improvements to ensure Colorado’s election system remains the gold standard. The bill will improve access to drop boxes and Voter Service and Polling Centers, streamline Colorado’s voter registration system, and increase transparency in recall elections. Additionally, it clarifies and expands prohibitions on electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place in order to protect against partisan election interference.

Specifically, the bill ensures that voters who are in dropbox lines at 7:00 PM are allowed to drop off their ballots, the same way voters who are in line by 7 PM at a voter service and polling center are able to cast a ballot. It also allows greater public input into the location of drop boxes. The bill clarifies what constitutes “electioneering” and ensures that voters may not be challenged for frivolous reasons unrelated to their eligibility. The bill modernizes the voter registration system to create a process for voters to register online with the last four digits of their social security numbers should they not have a driver’s license, requiring that information be matched and checked against the social security database in real time before proceeding to register the voter. The bill also requires institutions of higher education to provide information to enrolled students on their eligibility to vote and how to register to vote or update their address during the first full week of fall semester and the last full week of spring semester. 

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