Secretary of State Wayne Williams is setting new ground rules for Colorado elections. “We are making careful preparations for the 2016 election cycle in order to ensure Colorado sets the standard for access and integrity,” Williams stated in a press release. The changes include the establishment of a Bipartisan Election Advisory Committee that will work to ensure that elections are accessible and fair. The new rules also aim to up security for third-party personal delivery of ballots and clarify the appointment of election watchers. Military members and civilians who are overseas have been allowed to turn in ballots electronically if the area they are in has unreliable mail service. Under the new rules, electronic voting will only be allowed if there is no other feasible way to get a ballot in on time, and the electronic voter will need to sign an affirmation stating that they understand that rule.
“We cannot possibly know all the situations faced by service members who are deployed overseas,” Williams stated. “Sometimes it is not possible for them to successfully return a ballot through the mail, so we will do the hard work necessary to guarantee that they have the ability to participate.”
Williams also announced that he has certified four voting systems that will be considered for the state’s uniform voting system. Williams wants a single company to provide all the state’s ballot marking devices (both touchscreen and paper), ballot tabulators and count machines. He is piloting systems in different counties across the state. The qualifying systems for November 2015 are Clear Ballot Group, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic.