As an skilled Colorado election official and as a frontrunner in election coverage, course of enchancment, and innovation on the nationwide stage, I do know what’s required to design and construct efficient voting fashions. Whereas I respect Mr. Caldara for sharing his viewpoint, I used to be disenchanted to learn his politically charged opinion in The Denver Publish.
These are the information:
First, the Colorado Voting Mannequin advantages all voters no matter celebration affiliation. In 2014, Republicans and Democrats benefited equally from same-day registration and mail-ballot voting. This isn’t a partisan pushed reform and mail-ballot supply techniques exist in purple, purple, and blue states. Mr. Caldara notes that the opposite two states with this mannequin are Oregon and Washington, declaring them “progressive strongholds” whereas failing to acknowledge each have Republican secretaries of state (as does Colorado). He fails to notice numerous “purple” states have moved to this mannequin together with: Utah at 98 p.c mail poll utilization; 31 of 53 counties in North Dakota; 4 counties in Nebraska; and laws proposed in Wyoming for 2019. Additionally, in Montana and Arizona greater than 60 p.c of voters have chosen to vote by mail.
Second, Colorado leads the nation in election administration and is among the most safe and handy locations to vote. There have been quite a few tales and research detailing this together with The Washington Publish, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Colorado Public Radio. The Colorado Voting Mannequin (HB13-1303) is safe and handy and was pushed by voter’s alternative over time. Voters more and more selected to make use of mail ballots and by 2012, greater than 70 p.c of voters statewide chosen this selection. Thus, this data-driven reform responded to voter alternative, and in my expertise, it’s good to reply to your clients’ wants. This mannequin empowers voters to vote on their very own time and analysis details about the quite a few poll points. I favor to have time and selection versus the federal government dictating when and the place I make critically essential selections.
Third, this mannequin has enhanced safety and mitigated threat. Each vote is captured on a paper poll, creating the situations for environment friendly and correct post-election risk-limiting audits in a central depend setting.
Additional, the Colorado Voting Mannequin is environment friendly and has conserved worthwhile assets for counties and taxpayers. For instance, when Denver bought a brand new voting system in 2015, the fee was 1/10th of what it will have been within the previous mannequin. This was the identical development statewide.
Lastly, within the uncommon occasion that somebody engages in nefarious exercise, it’s investigated, pursued, and the perpetrator is held accountable as they had been in a 2017 Weld County voter fraud case. Petitions to get candidates names on the poll have additionally been thrown out following discovery of fraudulent signatures or signature gathering.
The election system should present equal alternative to vote for all no matter their political persuasion. The voting course of have to be safe, handy, accessible, environment friendly, and have to be free from partisan politics. The Colorado Voting Mannequin enhances safety, mitigates threat, will increase engagement and is price environment friendly. That is good for Colorado and for our democracy.
Amber McReynolds, the previous Director of Elections for the Metropolis and County of Denver, is the present Govt Director for Nationwide Vote at Residence. Twitter: @AmberMcReynolds