Gov. Jared Polis today signed into law a bill to improve Colorado’s nation-leading vote by mail system.

“As the nation discusses whether or not to adopt vote by mail — a proven, safe, and democratic system — Colorado is busy working to make our already effective process even better,” said bill sponsor Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). 

“This new law will make sure that all registered voters can cast a vote even when they have issues with their original ballots. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to make sure that health concerns don’t get in the way of any Coloradan’s constitutional right to vote.”

The bill signed today, HB20-1313, will improve the process for updating registration applications and records to ensure new ballots are sent within an appropriate timeline. It will permit a voter to get a replacement ballot if their ballot is destroyed, spoiled or not received for any reason if the voter requests a new ballot at least eight days before the election. 

The bill requires mail replacement ballots to be sent to eligible voters who update their address or register to vote at least eight days prior to an election, even if their original ballot has already been mailed. Counties are required to mail ballots by First Class Mail if they are sent within 11 days of an election, ensuring they will be delivered to the voter in a timely manner. 

Colorado is one of only a handful of states that allows all voters to cast their ballot by mail. It has been recognized across the country as one of the most secure and successful ballot administration systems in the nation. 

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The state’s universal mail ballot system means Colorado is uniquely positioned to safely administer upcoming elections and ensure that Coloradans can vote without risk to their health. 

“Why Electoral Integrity Matters” research shows Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire score highly for electoral integrity, while perceived electoral integrity is especially low in states like Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma. The research also showed that when people believe that electoral malpractice is common, they’re significantly less likely to vote. The Perceptions of Electoral Integrity Index also shows a direct correlation between secure elections, voter confidence and voter turnout.

Polis signed the bill at the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Denver Metro Local. 

 

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