DENVER, CO - The House today passed bipartisan legislation to improve representation in government by ensuring candidates with disabilities have access to the ballot. HB24-1067, championed by Representative David Ortiz, would address barriers those with a disability face when participating in the political process, including lack of virtual options. The bill passed by a vote of 64-0.
“There are many future community leaders who are often kept out of the political arena because our political systems are not accessible,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “This crucial bill works to improve accessibility in all levels of government, specifically through making virtual participation available at caucuses and party assemblies. The very foundations of democracy are dependent upon making sure every voice is heard and represented, and this bill ensures all candidates have an opportunity to participate in Colorado’s political process.”
HB24-1067, also sponsored by Rep. Brandi Bradley, R-Roxborough, would require the continuation of the caucus process to make it more accessible for people with disabilities to run for office. The bill would also require video conferencing participation options for a precinct caucus or a party assembly, unless they do not have access to a broadband network provider.
Rep. Ortiz has been a long-time champion for disability rights at the Colorado State Capitol. He has led the charge in passing multiple bills to ensure Coloradans with a disability have the opportunity for legal recourse if they are discriminated against, expanding the youth prosthetic coverage law, creating the Rights of Coloradans with Disabilities task force, in addition to two trailblazing right to repair laws specifically for wheelchair users.