Pat Poblete at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports on a Republican bill introduced in the Colorado Senate, Senate Bill 21-007, to crack down on the “problem” of millions of Coloradans voting by mail with no good reason other than it’s, you know, convenient–a.k.a the law of the land in Colorado since 2013, resulting in some of the highest voter participation rates in the country with none of the bad scary stuff Republicans warned consistently would result by making voting easier on purpose instead of harder:
[Sen. Paul] Lundeen’s bill would require voters to cast ballots in person either on election day or in the six-day period leading up to election day. It would still allow voters to cast ballots by mail, but would require voters to opt in to receive a mail-in ballot. Colorado’s current system sends all registered voters a mail ballot.
In an interview with Colorado Politics, Lundeen said the proposal was “drafted as a placeholder” and intended to kickstart the legislative process. He noted that while former Secretaries of State Wayne Williams and Scott Gessler testified at a contentious December Legislative Audit Committee hearing on election integrity called by Republicans, Griswold did not.
Lundeen is referring to the “hearing” convened by Republicans on the Legislative Audit Committee on December 15th, which featured anticlimactically tame testimony from thoroughly discredited Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, former Colorado Secretary of State and for-hire “election truther” Scott Gessler, himself a known purveyor of unfounded election conspiracy theories in his official capacity, and other similarly credibility-free conspiracy types.
But those Republican witnesses, who couldn’t come up with even credible allegations of fraud in Colorado’s election let alone evidence, were opposed by just enough fact-based witnesses and Democratic lawmakers to re-establish conclusively for the record that Colorado elections are accurate and secure. Of course, that didn’t slow down the Trump train headed for its final wreck in Washington, D.C. on January 6th. But along with Rep. Ken Buck’s unexpected efforts to instill confidence in Colorado’s election results with base Republicans, the momentum for continuing to question the results of the 2020 elections definitely slowed locally after these events.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold was under no obligation to provide any statement to a meaningless hearing convened in the only venue Republicans had even the power to call one. Her office did so anyway by way of a written statement, and combined with the conclusion by all parties at this hearing including Jenna Ellis that there was nothing identifiably problematic about Colorado elections, that should have been the end of it.
“When the Secretary of State did not come interact with the legislature when it convened a hearing to say, ‘How can we improve?’ It causes us to start wherever we can start,” he said. “And so this is the beginning of a conversation…” [Pols emphasis]
Full stop. A “conversation” about what? How does getting rid of the all-mail ballot system that made Colorado a national leader in voter participation “improve” anything? Why would we make this dramatic change, or for that matter any major change, to an election system that works better than basically anywhere else in America? Where is the problem crying out for a solution, other than hopefully more states following Colorado’s example?
We hope it’s a brief “conversation” in the committee the bill dies in, because this is a waste of everyone’s time.