Denver, Colorado, has spent the last eight years modernizing its elections, offering a model for how a city and county successfully maintains voter rolls. The city began taking steps in 2009 to make it easier for voters to cast ballots, officials to count them, and administrators to maintain accurate, clean voter rolls. In the process, they’ve increased voter turnout and saved taxpayers money. In the 2016 general election, turnout was at 72 percent — up six points from the city’s 2008’s turnout, and ten points higher than the national average in 2016, according to the city’s data. The effort has driven election costs down, from $6.51 per voter to $4.15 per voter.
“In Denver, we’ve said, ‘What do we want our voter experience to be?’ and worked backwards from there,” Amber McReynolds, director of the Denver Elections Division, told NBC News. The city employee been running the Mile High City’s elections for the last six years.
Some voters are so impressed with the changes — and later how she handled the president’s voter integrity commission’s request for voter data — they’ve mailed in thank you notes, McReynolds said. She keeps one on her desk: a homemade secrecy sleeve for a ballot a voter cast in honor of her mother, born 18 years before suffrage, and three aunts.