Coloradans would vote primarily by mail, and they could register to vote on Election Day under a bill Democrats are proposing at the state Capitol. Neighborhood polling places at schools and churches would be a thing of the past, and in-person voting would happen at a few centralized voting centers in each county, if the bill passes. Even before it has been introduced, the bill has touched off a partisan fight. But La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Lee Parker, a Republican, supports the bill and says it’s not a partisan issue. “To me, this is really bipartisan. This makes sense. This is not Republican versus Democrat,” Parker said.
But at the Legislature, the two parties already are lining up against each other. Democrats have many county clerks on their side, even Republican clerks like Parker. Republicans are aligned with GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has been speaking out against the bill.
The Colorado County Clerks Association initiated many parts of the bill, seeking a less complicated, less expensive way to run elections.
About three in four Colorado voters cast their ballots by mail last fall. In La Plata County, 62 percent voted by mail.
“That’s the No. 1 method that people want,” Parker said.
Under the bill, every registered voter would get a mail ballot. Voters still could choose to go to a vote center during the 15 days before the election to cast their votes in person. La Plata would have three vote centers, while counties with fewer than 10,000 people would have one.
But precincts would not have their own polling places, which will save money in county budgets, Parker said.