Voter registration bill won’t go to vote

Politics and fear caused Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll to nix introducing an election-reform measure this session, the Denver Democrat said Wednesday.

Carroll said an idea to extend voter registrations closer to Election Day and other reforms that drew sharp criticism from Republicans was enough to kill the idea before it got off the ground.

“I’m disappointed that some were misinformed by political spin and half truths,” Carroll said. “Motivated by fear of new voters, a few partisans blocked this effort at every turn.”

The speaker said some county clerks raised legitimate concerns about a draft of the proposal, but the entire effort began because of concerns raised by other clerks. Still, he said, their concerns and a lack of bipartisan support for the measure meant it would be impossible to reach a consensus in the Legislature in the last 20 days of this year’s session.

“I believe the draft held many important features that should be addressed,” Carroll said. “We were having constructive conversations and were close to a product that would be good for everyone.”

Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, a Democrat who was working with the clerks and Carroll on the proposal, said he would continue talks over possible reforms for future legislators to consider.

Buescher said trying to address the matter during an election year that clerks are busy preparing for wasn’t the best time.

Still, he said, a “vast majority” of clerks agreed the state should “remove outdated barriers” that prevent voters from updating their registrations.

“My aim is to streamline processes and identify efficiencies without compromising the safeguards and security measures already in place,” Buescher said. “The ultimate goals are to effectively utilize proven technology, improve convenience for the voters and to save county taxpayer dollars.”


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