Colorado Is The Wrong Battlefield For Fake Election Integrity

Sen. Paul Lundeen (R).

As the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports, tomorrow will mark the birth and in all likelihood death of Senate Bill 21-007, “concerning measures to promote public confidence in the validity of elections.” This is a bill we discussed last week from GOP Sen. Paul Lundeen to significantly restrict mail-in voting in Colorado, one of several Republican bills this year intended to monkeywrench Colorado’s highly successful and proven-secure election system:

Lundeen is sponsoring the election validity bill, which would repeal automatic mail ballots and not count ballots received after Election Day (such as absentee ballots from overseas). He recognizes that it could have many revisions, saying, sometimes, “you have to be clever to get a conversation started.”

“Good should never be the enemy of great, and I think we’ve got people that have settled into this spot where they were pretty doggone good — a lot of people look to Colorado,” he said. “I agree, a lot of people do. Does that mean we should be resting on our laurels? No.”

ACLU Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes said the GOP bill sponsors are playing to a base that “wants to pretend that our election was somehow fraudulent.” [Pols emphasis]

The Colorado Sun tried to get an explanation for why this bill was necessary, or even in any way beneficial to voters, clerks, or other election stakeholders from Sen. Lundeen, but Lundeen is playing coy:

Lundeen declined to discuss specifics of the proposal or explain why his bill seeks to limit a mail voting system that has been in place for several years. Instead, he said the purpose of his bill was “to start a conversation.”

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat who has long worked on election and voter-access issues, called the slate of legislation a political move by Republicans.

“My sense is, they know it’s bad policy, and they know it’s not going to pass, but it’s a statement,” Fenberg said, adding that the conversation that Lundeen wants to initiate is “perpetuating a lie.” [Pols emphasis]

Westword’s Casey Van Divier adds some important context to this GOP solution in search of a problem: a nationwide push for election law reforms good and bad–and on balance, as it turns out mostly good–in state legislatures across the nation in response to problems identified in the 2020 elections:

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University has been tracking all election-reform bills that have been introduced, pre-filed or carried over by state legislatures so far in 2021. Its latest report, dated February 8, notes that 706 election-reform bills have been proposed by legislators in forty states. Of those, 165 are what the center calls “restrictive bills” that, like Lundeen’s, seek to bolster election confidence by increasing restrictions throughout the voting process. Meanwhile, lawmakers have also introduced 541 “expansive bills” designed to reduce barriers to voter access.

In a state that pioneered the all mail-ballot election system which proved to be a model for carrying out safe and secure elections during a public health emergency, and which innumerable audits, studies, and even partisan confirmation-biased investigations have determined there is no problem to solve, plowing ahead with these bills to undo these reforms is a major political blunder. The only “fraud” Lundeen is exposing with these bills is a fraudulent push by Republicans to restrict access to the vote on false pretenses.

The fate of Lundeen’s Senate Bill 007, along with the other GOP bills to require citizenship verification and “audit” voter rolls annually, is all but certain in the Democratic-controlled Colorado General Assembly. But it’s still remarkable to see Republicans in the minority pushing bills that are both discredited by Colorado’s own experience and clinging to the equally discredited fiction that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.

Introducing these bills in Colorado only invites more questions about the Big Lie that underpins them.

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6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    If more people, people of color, younger people, poor people, and general non-Republicans are voting, then the system is not working for Lundeen.  We can't rest on our laurels ! Let's roll up our sleeves and fix this thing !  s/

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    One of the poster children for this treachery the white boys are perpetuating seems to have a small problem I don’t think Frank Azar can fix. 

    This is going to be hell on his pillow business (although at some point his accomplices are going to need a lot of ‘crying pillows”).  

    Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell

  3. bullshit! says:

    Paul Lundeen wishes he could be Pat Sajak but he's from Monument.

  4. Republican 36 says:

    By introducing this bill, Sen. Lundeen has several objectives in mind which does not include passage.  First, it insulates him from the ire of the Republican base. He took their number one concern, regardless of how unfounded it is, and addressed it.  It eliminates any primary from the right.

    Second, I suspect he is looking at higher office and this bill guarantees he passes the litmus test for entry into the primary field.

    Finally, he will say as little about this bill as he has to, probably only in committee, because he’s walking the normal tightrope for a Republican.  On the one hand, as described above, he has to satisfy his base while on the other, the same kind of legislation remains very unpopular with most Colorado voters.  That’s why he said he wants to begin a conversation.  In the end, he will say we had the conversation and he’s satisfied mail-in voting is sound and secure in Colorado, but of course there are problems in the rest of the country.  Politically, he’s trying to cover himself in every way possible. 

    I wonder, is he running for governor or the senate in 22?

  5. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    Lundeen's horseshit got called out by Kyle Clark last night.  Good stuff.

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