A proposal to change the availability of voting centers across the state is splitting voting rights groups between those who favor saving money and those who say closing voting centers will disenfranchise voters who need them most. This week’s state Capitol hearing on Senate Bill 16-112 marks the first legislative action on a half-dozen proposals designed to change Colorado’s voting laws in time for this year’s election. Sponsored by Sen. Jack Tate, a Centennial Republican, the bill would change the availability of voting service centers in counties with at least 75,000 voters. Since Colorado went to an all-mail ballot election system in 2013, voters who want to cast their ballots in person no longer do so in their precincts, but at voting service centers maintained by their county. Current law requires one center for each 30,000 voters during the early voting period that starts 15 days before the general election. Each county, regardless of size, must have at least one voting center.
Under Tate’s bill, the law would require fewer centers – one per 75,000 voters for the first seven days of early voting. During the last seven days, the county would maintain one voting center per 30,000 voters. The bill also would nix a requirement that voting centers be open on the first Saturday of the 15-day early voting period.
The measure has divided voting rights groups that traditionally have agreed on voting legislation. The League of Women Voters supports the bill because of its potential cost savings. In opposition are Colorado Common Cause and COLOR, the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights.
Full Article: Critics worry proposed bill would disenfranchise voters | The Colorado Independent.