DENVER, CO - House Democrats on the State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee today defeated a GOP bill that would have eliminated Colorado's accessible, gold standard vote by mail system by overhauling it with ineffective, unnecessary, and impractical changes grounded in repeatedly debunked election conspiracy claims.
“The GOP continues to push the Big Lie in an effort to undermine Colorado’s elections,” said State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver. “This bill would make it harder for Coloradans to cast a ballot by erecting barriers to voting. It wouldn’t improve the security of our elections yet would cost tens of millions of dollars. Election denialism has no place in Colorado--the voters have made clear that they have little tolerance for conspiracies and disinformation.”
HB23-1170, sponsored by Representative Ken deGraaf, would unnecessarily overhaul Colorado’s safe and accessible voting system by requiring an untested and complicated system of tokens, token assignment observers, vetting registrars and token registrars to allow Coloradans to cast their ballots. Voters would need tokens in order to vote by mail or in person. A token assignment registrar in the presence of a token assignment observer team would then match a token number to a ballot before it is counted. Prior to counting mail in ballots, the vetting registrar in the presence of the registration observer team must notify a voter that the clerk has received that voter’s ballot. The voter must then acknowledge this notification before their ballot can be assigned a token, entered into the distributed ledger and counted.
Despite recent attacks by members of the GOP ascribing to the “Big Lie”, Colorado’s voting system has been lauded by both Democratic and Republican Secretary of States. In 2013, the bipartisan Colorado legislature passed the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act to expand the state’s voting system and increase ballot accessibility to Coloradans all across the state. After every election, Colorado conducts a bipartisan post-election audit to ensure there are no inconsistencies before results are officially certified. Both Republicans and Democrats approve county election results, confirming that the results are factual. Findings from the audits are made public and can be found on the Secretary of State website.
Over 95 percent of voters in the 2022 election chose to cast their ballot by mail, and almost 94 percent of ballots in the 2020 General Election were returned via mail or drop box. In 2020, Colorado’s voter turnout rate was over 75 percent, placing the state second in the nation in voter participation and roughly seven percentage points higher than the national average of 68 percent.