Reps. Froelich, Lontine, Weissman, Esgar, Mullica delivering results
(May 29) – Gov. Polis signed bills led by House Democrats to expand access to voting and protect democracy.
First up was HB19-1278, Colorado Votes Act (COVA). This new law will expand access to voting and minimize long lines on Election Day.
“While some states are passing restrictive election laws, Colorado again has expanded access to the ballot. Colorado voters are the winners after the signing of the Colorado Votes Act to modernize our elections,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “Many thanks go to Sec. Jena Griswold and the Colorado County Clerks Association for making this new law more effective.”
Read more about how this new law will expand access to voting here.
The Gov then signed a new law sponsored by Rep. Meg Froelich to increase voting access for people with disabilities. This important law will give voters with disabilities greater access to the ballot box in order to fit their specific needs.
“It’s important that we provide equal and secure access to the ballot box for all Coloradans and stop the disenfranchisement of voters,” said Rep. Froelich, D-Englewood when the bill passed the House. “We should never disqualify individuals from voting and participating in our democratic process based on a disability.”
SB19-202 passed unanimously out of the House.
The Gov then signed the Clean Campaign Act of 2019. HB19-1318 increases the transparency of money in elections consistent with the First Amendment to the United States constitution.
“Coloradans have the right to be able to follow the dollars in our elections,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora when the bill passed the House. “All voters deserve to know who or what is trying to influence their vote. This bill will make Colorado a national leader in campaign finance transparency. I thank Secretary Griswold for working with us on this important reform.”
This new law prohibits an issue committee or small-scale issue committee from knowingly accepting contributions from any natural person who is not a citizen of the United States, a foreign government or any foreign corporation that does not have the authority to transact business in this state.
The Gov also signed Rep. Daneya Esgar and Rep. Kyle Mullica’s automatic voter registration bill will make Colorado voter rolls more accurate as information is updated.
“Democracy works when we all get to participate and that’s what this new law does,” said Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Our state has the leading elections system in the country and this is a way to improve it even more. This new law ensures our voter roles are secure, accurate, up to date and that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote.”
Read more about how SB19-235 will streamline the voter registration process at the DMV, save counties money and reduce the opportunity for human error here.
“Our democracy can truly thrive when we have the most eligible voters participate in our elections,” said Rep. Mullica, D-Northglenn. “We are breaking barriers to ensure a more accessible and inclusive election. Through this, we can continue to allow Colorado to take a lead in elections in our nation.”
The Gov also signed Rep. Mike Weissman’s bill to better enforce Colorado’s campaign finance laws.
“Unaffiliated voters, Republicans and Democrats are tired of the expanding influence of money in politics and are demanding a fix,” said Rep. Weissman, D-Aurora. “This law will help give voters more confidence that the system works for them – not special interests and deep pocketed mystery money groups.”
SB19-232 would codify within the Fair Campaign Practices Act the rules of the Secretary of State to enforce state laws concerning campaign finance. This includes specifying procedures for filing complaints, review of complaints by the elections division, processes for curing campaign finance law violations, the investigation of unresolved complaints, the conduct of hearings, audits by the division of campaign finance, and the issuance of advisory opinions by the Secretary of State. Together, these provisions create a robust system to make sure that political campaigns and organizations abide by Colorado’s disclosure