Support Election Procedure Changes in Colorado

mail-in-ballot

Target: Colorado Governor Jonn Hickenlooper

Goal: Pass legislation that would increase voter turn-out and allow more citizens the opportunity to vote.

A proposed Colorado election reform bill would allow voters to register up to and on Election Day, as well as provide every voter with a mail-in ballot. The bill would also remove the “inactive voter” status given to people who miss an election. Please sign this petition in support of the proposed election changes to increase voter turn-out and provide more options for participation.

House bill 1303 would make a series of changes to Colorado elections law which will make voting easier and more accessible. Among the reforms, the bill would allow voters to register up to and on Election Day, rather than 29 days before as the current law mandates. It also makes every election a mail-in ballot election, which gives voters the option of mailing in or dropping off a ballot sent to them by mail, or voting in person at a voter service center. HB1303 would also remove the “inactive voter” status automatically given to people who miss an election.

Critics believe widespread mail-in ballots would lead to fraud; however, voter fraud is so uncommon it is not a real concern. Professor Michael McDonald of George Mason University studied voter turn-out during the 2012 election. McDonald dismissed concerns of fraud saying, “There is very little vote fraud, so any electoral change will be unlikely to change this rare event.” Professor McDonald, a proponent for same-day registration, cites North Carolina as a reason to extend the deadline. He says more than 100,000 people took advantage of same-day registration in that state in 2008 and 2010.

According to Colorado’s bipartisan County Clerks Association, which supports the proposed election changes, about 74 percent of Colorado voters cast a mail-in ballot last November. Clerks called that figure “a clear mandate from the electorate.” Clerks also advocate reforming inactive voter labels and allowing more time for people to register to vote.

Please sign this petition and urge Governor Hickenlooper to update voting procedures to be as inclusive, reliable and efficient as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Recent legislative changes have been proposed to update the election process in Colorado. Among the changes include extending the registration date up to Election Day, sending all eligible voters a mail-in ballot, and removing the inactive voter label assigned to people who miss voting in an election. Please support these changes as a way to include more citizens and increase access to voting procedures.

Providing citizens with more options and more time to vote will undoubtedly result in an increase in the amount of participants. House Bill 1303 would give people the option of either voting by mail-in ballot or voting in person. According to Colorado’s County Clerk Association, about 74 percent of Coloradan’s voted by mail-in ballot in the last election. The bipartisan association, which supports the proposed election changes, views this majority as a message from citizens that mail-in is the way to go. Sending ballots to citizens as a default is thought to increase voter return and thus allow for more voices to be heard.

Critics of the proposed changes cite risk of fraud with the mail-in ballots. However, according to researchers in field, fraud is so rare it is not a real concern with mail-in ballots. Rather than finding reasons not to support this legislation, I think it more constructive to concentrate on the increase in voter turn-out that is expected as a result. Experts point to North Carolina as a reason to extend voter registration up to Election Day. More than 100,000 people took advantage of same-day registration in North Carolina in 2008 and 2010.

Please support the proposed election procedure changes as a way to include more voters, increase turn-out and allow more voices to be heard.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: blackenterprise via Yahoo

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134 Signatures

  • James Thrailkill
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Holly Hall
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Melanie waleski
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