To boost voting access during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Secretary of State's office will provide funding for any county that opens Voter Service and Polling Centers the Sunday before Election Day.

Colorado state law requires early voting centers to be open starting October 19, but excludes mandatory openings of voting centers on Sundays. 

"As Secretary of State, I have worked to increase voting access for Coloradans," Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a Sept. 24 news release announcing the initiative. "Early voting options are key to accessible elections, and for a presidential election during a pandemic, it's important to provide Coloradans with many options to be able to cast their ballot and make their voice heard."

Under the leadership of Clerk & Recorder Josh Zygielbaum, Adams County is the first county to choose to open a VSPC in Aurora the Sunday before the election.

"As the Adams County Clerk and an Elections Official, I see access to voting as an integral part of the American process," Zygielbaum said in the news release. "I'm proud to partner with the Secretary of State's office, bipartisan organizations, and members of the community to expand the voting experience."

Rosemary Lytle, state president of the NAACP CO-MT-WY, said the NAACP applauds the Secretary of State and Adams County for moving toward opening a VSPC on Sundays.

"Early and flexible voting is a critical tool for breaking down barriers to the ballot box and improving civic engagement," Lytle said. "When people — especially in a pandemic — can decide when and where is best for them to vote, it increases voter participation, especially in traditionally disenfranchised communities.

"A demanding job or inflexible hours shouldn't be a barrier. And no one should have to choose between voting and keeping their job."

Ballots will be mailed to all active registered voters starting October 9. Expenses for keeping VSPCs open an extra day will be paid by the Secretary of State's office out of federal CARES Act funding for elections.      

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