A House committee rejected a measure Wednesday to require Coloradans to show a picture identification card if they are registering to vote immediately before an election. Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, who introduced HB1111, said it makes sense to require photo IDs to guard against anyone from fraudulently casting a ballot, especially that close to an election. But opponents of the idea, which has been a controversial one nationwide, said such a requirement only serves to turn people away from the polls because not everyone has a photo identification card, and oftentimes it takes some time to get one.
“There is no evidence that this bill will protect the integrity of our elections, but there is evidence that this bill would restrict access to our democracy from underrepresented groups,” said Lizzy Stephan, deputy director of New Era Colorado, a nonprofit group that focuses on getting younger people engaged in the electoral process, “One fifth of Americans who do not have a photo ID are between the ages of 18 and 24. Given the populations who rely on same-day registrations, it is clear whose voices this bill would quiet.”
The bill, which the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee killed on a party-line 5-4 vote, would have sent the idea to voters in November.