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May 02, 2013 02:50 PM UTC

Election Modernization Bill Passes Senate

  • by: Colorado Pols

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

The 20-15 vote, with all Democrats in favor of and all Republicans against the measure, came after a four-hour debate with almost every Republican senator arguing that bill will open up the state’s elections to rampant fraud.

“You’re already winning the elections,” Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, said. “Do you need to steal them too?” [Pols emphasis]

The Colorado Association of County Clerks, which is made up more Republicans than Democrats, helped draft the bill and supports it. But Republicans at the Capitol and Secretary of State Scott Gessler have called House Bill 1303 a “partisan power play” aimed at helping Democrats consolidate recent electoral gains that will open the voting process up to rampant fraud.

The long debate over passage of House Bill 1303 has been characterized by dire warnings that the bill, in particular the provision for same-day registration of voters, would lead to "rampant voter fraud"–despite the fact that county clerks of both parties, the officials actually responsible for carrying out elections in Colorado, support it. Eleven states and the District of Columbia already have same day registration on the books, and there is no evidence that it has led to a higher incidence of trouble anywhere it has been enacted. What has happened, though, is a roughly 10% increase in overall voter turnout in states that have same day registration.

With these arguments hashed, rehashed, and re-rehashed, the final Senate debate today veered into the silly: 

“There are people out there that, if they have the opportunity — you can’t tell me a group of anarchists, looking at a way to overthrow our government — why would we give them an opportunity to do that?” [GOP Sen. Steve] King asked.

As with the gun safety debate, or any number of other debates this legislative session, we get the sense that with House Bill 1303, Republicans stopped trying to persuade their Democratic fellow legislators relatively early on–and switched to nonsensical talking points intended only to resonate with their low-information base. We can't think of any other reason why (presumed) intelligent lawmakers would bother saying something as ridiculous as what you read above. No Republican opponent ever offered a reasonable explanation for even the most basic discrepancies in their arguments, like why county clerks from both parties support the bill, or why the "fraud" they are certain will be the result hasn't happened in other states.

If they ever had a valid argument, they're out of time to make it.


24 thoughts on “Election Modernization Bill Passes Senate

  1. Eleven states and the District of Colorado already have same day registration on the books, and there is no evidence that it has led to a higher incidence of trouble anywhere it has been enacted.

    Ha! First it was the Republic of Boulder, and now Colorado has lost it's statehood?

    Also, watching the #COLeg hissy-fit about this on Twitter today has been funny.

  2. Call Governor Hickenlooper at (303) 866-2471 and tell him to veto this bill–OR ELSE THE ANARCHISTS WILL DESTROY OUR WAY OF LIFE!!!!!!!!11111!!!!one!!!!!11

  3. LMAO.  Did they find even one Republican County Clerk to testify against this?  In the more conservative and smaller counties, the far right has a lot of friends?  Just wondering.

  4. Democrats know that their overreach has put them in a terrible position next year. The ability to flood the polls with tens of thousands of marginal, uninformed unregistered voters means you can now put your thumb on the scale of any election.

    It's more than just the fraud, although the fraud is a huge problem. What Democrats are doing with this bill is diluting the votes of responsible voters with emotionally motivated, marginal, irresponsible unregistered voters they can roust up at the last possible moment.

    This bill is a disaster for democracy and for Colorado. If Hickenlooper signs it, everyone will see that Democrats have completed their putsch. This is a terrible day for every responsible citizen.

    1. Even you know it's all nonsense, right?  That no one has shown voter fraud to be a problem? No one has shown that those who register and vote early are more informed? No one has shown same day registration leading to more voter fraud in states that already have it? You do know that in our system, ideally we want all eligible citizens to vote?  That calling more voters a threat to democracy is an oxymoron? 

      You really are pretending to believe all this crap because Rs like you and Gessler and Cadman and Mittens don't like messy democracy that lets the peasants have a voice and want an elite minority in control, right?   Or are you truly stupid enough to take your party's spin for consumption by dimwits seriously?  Never mind.  Sadly, I suspect I knew the answer before I asked.

    2. "emotionally motivated, marginal, irresponsible unregistered voters"

      In fact, it is marginal, emotional, irresponsible low-information voters on the extreme right who have elected some marginal, emotional, irresponsible low-information state Reps and Senators in Colorado.  Congrats to those Pols readers who do not live in a District representated by one of these worthless lawmakers.


  5. Why would any responsible citizen who plays by the rules and votes in every election want their vote diluted by somebody who doesn't care enough to even register to vote? That's the question none of YOU can answer.

    I'm disgusted.

    1. Since you've never done it before, I suppose I'm wasting my time with this, but could you please articulate how 1303 "tilts the field"?

      The "uninformed" are mostly on the red side. "Unregistered"? How? Who? And "marginal"? If by that you mean birthers, truthers, eggers, etc, ok, but, again, that's your crew.

      agop, man the fuck up and explain yourself.

    2. diluted rights?

      Hmmm…why would any responsible, law abiding citizen want their right to own and bear arms to be diluted by those with questionable backgrounds? What are they hiding?  Why would you oppose background checks?

    3. ArapaGOP says  —  "I'm disgusted" . . . 

      That pretty much tells me all I need to know about how much of a good day this was for democracy (small d), freedom, and human rights . . . 


    4. ummm… nobody will be able to vote until they register so there still won't be any unregistered voters voting. I'm typing very slowly. You may have to read this a few times, Arapgoof.

    5. You are so stupid, it sometimes amazes me. Let's look at what you just said again:

      Why would any responsible citizen who plays by the rules and votes in every election want their vote diluted by somebody who doesn't care enough to even register to vote?

      If they aren't registered to vote, then they can't "dilute" anything. Because they can't vote. Bluecat already pointed that out to you, but you're very thick, so repetition is required.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid… and probably bitter that this hinders your ability to steal elections.

      1. […] and probably bitter that this hinders your ability to steal elections.

        And that's the real problem. It's hard to disenfranchise voters who show up to the polls only to find their registration's been falsely cancelled if they can just re-register at the polling site.

    6. This is the same reasoning presented for poll taxes, voting only by the landed gentry, and election of Senators by State legislatures. All of those have been discarded as outmoded, because we've decided they're crappy ideas.

      If someone is motivated enough to show up at a voting center, then they've got motivation. If they're motivated enough to surf over to the SoS's website and register, then motivated enough to provide their proof of ID and signature when voting, then they've shown responsibility and motivation. To say that these people are unmotivated or irresponsible is, well, ignorant.

  6. It makes you wonder, doesn't it? The idea of more people being able to register and vote, when it's convenient for them, thus making more people likely to vote….why should that be so scary to Guppy, Cadman, and Senator Helmet Hair?

    1. They love the second amendment.  It's the rest of the constitution, especially all the stuff about democratic elections and all of us, even those of us who aren't affluent white men or the ignorant stooges they convince to vote against their own interests, having the right to vote that they aren't crazy about.

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