The legislation that could either modernize, economize and simplify the state’s election system — or open it up to voter fraud, depending on who you believe — is expected to go to the floor of the state House of Representatives for a vote Thursday. The so-called Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act passed out of its second House committee this week early Wednesday morning. The Appropriations Committee gave it an 8-4 approval on a party-line vote. The House’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee gave it a 7-4 party line vote Monday night. Though backers have called it a bipartisan bill, so far it’s yet to pick up a single Republican vote or any endorsement from GOP lawmakers or organizations.
Bipartisanship, however, is a fact, at least at the local level. The bill was prompted by a letter to all legislators last November from the Colorado County Clerks Association, which includes lots of Republicans. The executive director of the association is Donetta Davidson, Colorado’s Republican secretary of state from 1999 to 2005, who was nominated to a federal elections advisory panel by President George W. Bush. She’s no Boulder liberal.
In the statehouse, allegiance to the legislation has two distinct colors — red and blue. The bill is sponsored by Dickey Lee Hullinghorst of Boulder, who happens to be the House majority leader. The co-sponsor is Dan Pabon of Denver, the assistant majority leader. That’s too much blue to wish away.
If these colors remain true after arms are twisted before a House vote, the bill is destined to pass, given 38 Democrats and 27 Republicans in the chamber. And assuming it passes the House, it would bounce to the Senate, where Democrats enjoy a 20 to 15 edge. Then it’s on to the desk of the Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, presumably to become law.
Full Article: Colorado House to debate elections bill, as party lines hold.