DENVER – On Friday, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill to overhaul Colorado’s elections system to include same-day voter registration and mailing ballots to all voters.
It's called the Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act, and it redefines how elections are run here in Colorado.
The elections overhaul allows same-day voter registration, and it allows registered voters to receive ballots by mail. But people can still vote in person, drop off their ballot or mail it in.
The law also eliminates the category of "inactive" voters, or those who skip even one election.
Another key component of the bill is that voters can now vote at any of the voting centers established in the measure, instead of following the current system that designates precinct polling places.
Democrats say the goal is to increase voter participation and make it easier for everyone to vote.
Alvina Vasquez with The Campaign for a Strong Colorado said it’s a win for all Colorado voters. She was in the crowd showing her support as the governor signed the bill at the Capitol.
Vasquez said the law will impact many voters that have the right to vote, but not access to voting such as veterans, disabled people, and those from lower-income families.
However, not everyone agrees. While the bill passed with unanimous support from democrats, not a single republican voted for it.
Republicans have raised concerns about potential voter fraud, saying that same-day registration makes it too easy to cheat the system.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler said the governor rubber-stamped the agenda of partisan, special interests at the Capitol. He said same-day voter registration doesn’t give election officials enough time to truly verify people’s eligibility, and opens the door to voter fraud and mistakes.
Another major concern for Gessler is the timeline. He said it will require a major update to software systems, which is something that could take years. With only months to do so, Colorado’s chief election official called it a "recipe for disaster."