Colorado's Mail-In Voting System in National Spotlight
Monday, June 1, 2020
DENVER -- A majority of voters across party lines say they want the option to mail in their ballots during the pandemic, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos polL, and many states are giving Colorado's all-mail ballot voting model a harder look.
Since 2014, all registered voters in Colorado have received ballots by mail.
Amanda Gonzalez, executive director of Colorado Common Cause, says the state's system shows that when voters can mail in ballots, cast ballots at any center in their county and drop ballots off before or after work, people want to vote.
"When they have several weeks of early voting available, it's not just one day," she points out. "They participate in our system. And when they turn in their ballots, we get better policies, we get more accountable politicians, and that's good for all of us."
Last week President Donald Trump received a fact-check notice for a tweet he sent out warning of widespread fraud if states roll out vote-by-mail options before the November election. Others have called for witnesses and notaries for mail-in ballots.
According to a Denver Post report, a tiny fraction of 1% of all votes cast in 2018 in Colorado were flagged by election officials to be investigated for fraud.
Gonzalez says voter participation increased by almost 10% after the state switched to an all-mail system, while other states saw declines. She notes increased voter turnout has not favored one political party over another.
But Gonzalez agrees that it's important to have security features in place, such as matching signatures on ballots with handwriting samples.
"But a signature verification and an attestation does really well in Colorado," she notes. "I think that when you talk about needing a notary or a witness, you're creating barriers to voting that really disenfranchise whole communities."
After the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked an effort to enable remote voting in the state's April primary, it's estimated that 67 voters and workers were infected by COVID-19.
While delivery options and restrictions vary, voters in all 50 states currently have the right to request a ballot by mail.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
get more stories like this via email
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…
HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …
RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …
BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…
AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …
DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …
NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A new report ranks Maryland as one of the worst states in providing support for young victims of sex trafficking. While Maryland …