Colorado Shifting to All-Mail Election

In the past, Coloradans had the option of voting by mail rather than standing in lines on Election Day. In this election, every voter in the state will get a ballot in the mail, with the option of voting in person.

On Nov. 5, the way elections are conducted in Colorado will make a historic shift, but most voters shouldn't notice the change, said Amber McReynolds, Denver's director of elections.

In the past, Coloradans had the option of voting by mail rather than standing in lines on Election Day. In this election, every voter in the state will get a ballot in the mail, with the option of voting in person.

Also, voters can register through Election Day, rather than facing a deadline of 30 days before.

Behind the scenes, Colorado will have a more efficient, more cost-effective and more consistent way of collecting ballots, McReynolds said.

Every voter already had been provided mail ballots in most Denver municipal elections but not for general elections. Now all elections statewide will work off the same system.

"It provides a lot of consistency, not just from election to election, but county to county," she said.

In the past general election, 74 percent of Colorado voters chose to vote by mail, according to the Colorado County Clerks Association.

McReynolds said the new law eliminates most of the problems that led to voters in the past being issued provisional ballots — those verified and counted after Election Day.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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