An effort to change the Colorado Constitution aimed at who is allowed to vote in state and local elections will appear on the 2020 ballot, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
That effort, known as Citizen Qualification of Electors, would change the Constitution to say that only U.S. citizens can vote in Colorado elections, instead of every U.S. citizen can vote.
The group that placed the measure onto the ballot, Colorado Citizen Voters, say that change would ensure that people who are in the country illegally can’t cast ballots.
While opponents say current law already bars non-citizens from voting, supporters argue that there’s enough wiggle room in the Constitution to allow some local governments to open the ballot to them.
“Nearly every state constitution mirrors Colorado’s, saying ‘every citizen shall be an elector,’ but this inclusion language only tells us who can, not who can’t vote,” said Arvin Michel, a Littleton resident who helped get the measure onto the ballot.
“States, including California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont are using this loophole to allow non-citizens to legally vote,” he said. “That’s why we need this simple fix to clarify and codify our Colorado Constitution to say definitively, only a citizen shall be an elector.”
The effort is part of a national campaign to change all states’ constitutions. To-date, it is only on the ballot in Florida and Alabama, but similar efforts are underway in a handful of other states, such as Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan.
North Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved a similar change to their constitution last year.
That national effort is primarily funded by a Florida-based group called Citizen Voters Inc., a nonprofit organization formed by John and Gina Loudon, who are members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
John Loudon is a former GOP Missouri state representative, and Gina Loudon is a member of the Trump campaign’s media advisory board and co-chairwoman of Women for Trump.
John Loudon also is chairman of the Florida ballot campaign.
Citizens Voters Inc. has given the Colorado campaign nearly $1.4 million in in-kind contributions, primarily to pay for hiring paid gatherers for petition signatures, according to campaign finance reports in the Secretary of State’s Office.
Last month, those petition gatherers turned in more than 200,000 signatures to get the measure onto the ballot. Of those, more than 137,000 were deemed valid. It needed 124,632 to qualify, including at least 2% from each of the state’s 35 senatorial districts.
Because the measure would alter the Constitution, it requires at least 55% of voters to pass.