What is Voting in Colorado Like?
By now you’ve heard about Major League Baseball’s move from Atlanta to Denver. This move is a result of new voting legislation signed into law in Georgia. There are many people arguing that how citizens vote in Colorado is similar or more prohibitive than voting in Georgia. I’ve voted my entire life in Colorado with the exception of my first vote during college in NY state. I’m going to share what everyone is getting wrong about voting in Colorado, why it’s GLORIOUS and why Georgia’s voting law is problematic.
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How to Register to Vote
In order to vote, would be participants have to establish some sort of eligibility to vote in an election.
Voting in Colorado
- Colorado-There are 16 forms of identification that Colorado voters can present upon registration.
- Same day registration-You’re eligible to register the day of an election. For example: For the November 8, 2022 election you can walk into the voting station and register on November 8, 2022.
- Ballot Access-All ballots are MAILED to ALL registered voters. This happens about 3 weeks prior to the Election. We actually know when they are sent in the mail and we can track their arrival. If you are an Unaffiliated voter you receive two ballots but can only cast ONE.
- Ballots have unique identifying numbers assigned to them so they aren’t randomly sent out.
- Ballot boxes 1 per every 12,000-15,000 voters depending on the location in the state. Ballot boxes are available until voting ends on Election night. This empowers people to vote by “Mail”=no lines.
- Ballot verification-By signature. If there is a problem with your ballot you can check online and see.
- Early Voting-15 days prior to an election. That would be October 24, 2022 for the upcoming Mid-Term election.
- Where to Vote-Coloradans can return their ballot at any ballot box in the State.
- Electioneering-This is when you wear political clothing, etc. This is NOT permitted within 100 feet of the precinct.
- Food Distribution-This is not permitted. However, there are no voting lines. So, there is no need to distribute food and water.
- Ballot books-These are books that explain the different laws/etc. that we’re voting on. These issues are explained in a non-partisan way presenting the potential positive and negative outcomes if an initiative/law/amendment is passed.
- Incarcerated Coloradans-Felony convictions=ineligible to vote
- Must be on parole to be eligible to vote
Some final details to be aware of.
- All decisions around voting is made in a bipartisan way
- Ballot Box collection is bipartisan (boxes are open 24 hours a day with video surveillance)
- It’s better to call Colorado’s system “Vote by Ballot Box” Because 96% of Colorado voters drop their ballots off at a ballot box.
- There are NO LINES when voting. This doesn’t exist. In fact, there was one line during the 2020 election with a wait of 45 minutes and it made the news. We know where it’s located and I plan on reaching out to Jena Griswold, Secretary of State, to see if they’ve added an additional ballot box in that area.
- The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Denver, Colorado for the 2021 All Star Game
Voting in Georgia
- Georgia-There are 6 forms of identification that Georgia voters can present upon registration.
- October 10, 2022 is the latest date a Georgian can register to be eligible to vote in the November 2022 mid-term elections.
- Ballot Access-Absentee ballots-I had to do a lot of research on this because this is not really something that happens in Colorado.
- May be requested 180 days prior to an Election up until the Friday before the election. Absentee ballots are for individuals who may be traveling or can’t go to the polls for some reason per the Georgia.gov website. *In other reporting on this it looks like the timeframe may have changed to 25 days before a Federal Election*
- Ballot boxes 1 per every 100,000 voters, Boxes are only available during the Early Voting stage of an election. It has been reported that the drop box number will go from the current 94 to 23 in 2022 (per USA Today) This forces people to vote in person=voting lines.
- Where you vote-You have to vote at an assigned precinct.
- Electioneering-Within 25 feet of a voter standing in line or 150 feet of a building. Given that there are significant lines this is an issue.
- Ballot Books-None seem to be issued.
- Incarcerated Georgians-If you have a misdemeanor charge you’re eligible to vote. Also, after completion of a felony sentence.
Some final details to be aware of:
- An id number is required as proof of ID vs. verify by signature.
- Two days only of Sunday early voting.
- One additional day of Saturday early voting.
My Final Thoughts
Ultimately, the voting access comparison between Georgia and Colorado is no comparison. Given that 96% of Colorado voters use the Ballot Box to cast their votes and the incredible amount of access and voting flexibility-Colorado has a better system of voting.
- Voting lines do not exist in Colorado. There was ONE during the 2021
- Presidential election that ran about 45 minutes. We knew exactly where it was.
- We do not have to pass out food to voters because…they vote by Ballot box.
- In-person voting in Colorado is done by so few people that when you opt to do it, it’s incredibly fast even on Election Day. Maybe 10 minutes during a normal election cycle.
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