State legislators want ballot changes made

DENVER — State legislators are eyeing several measures this session designed to make the state’s ballot measures clearer to understand.

The measures range from requiring backers of citizens’ initiatives to identify who they are before a question gets on the ballot to making ballot questions easier to read and understand.

Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, got the House to give preliminarily approval to a measure Friday to include information about how a measure got on the ballot. Court said part of people’s concerns when reading the Legislature’s Blue Book, the pamphlet it puts out before each election describing what measures do, aren’t always clear about how a measure got on the ballot.

“Being the professor that I am, I want them to understand ballot questions,” said Court, a political science instructor at Red Rocks Community College when she’s not in the Legislature. “I would like to think that more information about our voting process is always valuable. There’s an awful lot of information out there, but I know it’s not clear in the Blue Book where these questions come from.”

That measure, HB1035, requires a final House vote before it will head to the Senate for more debate.

Other election-related measures yet to be discussed in the Legislature include a bill to allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in primary elections, rules that would require citizens’ groups to identify themselves before a measure is approved to be placed before voters, and a bill requiring all elections to be conducted by mail.

There also are a slew of measures related to the issue of illegal immigration, primarily to require voters to show proof of citizenship to register to vote and to show identification to cast a ballot.

Some lawmakers are discussing introducing bills to change how voters place measures on the ballot, some with the intent to make it harder to alter the state’s Constitution. Measures to do that, however, have not been introduced.


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