Colorado and North Carolina share some commonalities, politically speaking. Both have had healthy two-party competition over the last dozen years or so; both became battleground states in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections; and, since the 2012 election, both now have unified governments. Democrats control the House, the Senate and the governor’s office in Colorado, and Republicans control the same in North Carolina. Another commonality: this year Colorado and North Carolina both enacted major election overhauls that address same day registration, early voting and pre-registration for teens (along with other issues). The two states took mirror opposite approaches to those issues.The Voter Information and Verification Act in North Carolina received the most press for requiring photo voter IDs at the polls (a provision that goes into effect in 2016). It also:
Made changes to early voting, by reducing the number of days it is offered while maintaining the same number of total hours.
Eliminated pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Eliminated one-stop voting. (Until now, North Carolina has had a period during early voting when voters could register and vote on the same day.)
Many more changes, including some to campaign finance, runoff elections and succession, were included. The legislature’s fiscal note describes most of the bill, and a summary is available from the North Carolina Legislature’s Research Division.
In Colorado, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act did a number of things, but the two most significant were to provide same day registration and to move the state to an all-mail system. All voters will be mailed a ballot, whether they asked for one or not, and they will have the choice to fill it out at home and return it in person or by mail, or to cast their ballots on Election Day at voter service centers. Essentially, this expands pre-Election Day voting to everyone.
The fiscal note explains these and all other provisions, including the creation of a state commission on elections. A separate 2013 bill provides 16- and 17-year-olds the chance to preregister.
Full Article: The Canvass: September 2013.