Mayor Michael Hancock to convene voting rights summit in Denver


DENVER (KDVR) — City and County of Denver officials are planning a big summit in just a couple of weeks surrounding election equity, potentially with some national implications.

It’s called the National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voter Rights.

FOX31’s Joshua Short spoke with Mayor Michael Hancock about why he’s leading this event, even though we don’t have a lot of voting issues here.

“This is voting,” Hancock told Josh in a sit-down conversation from the mayor’s office this week.

“Your right to vote at age 18, my right to vote at age 18, your daughter’s right to vote, your son’s right to vote, your grandmother’s right to vote — this is voting, as general as it gets,” the visibly vexed mayor said, explaining why he’s leading an effort to protect the rights of voters around the nation.

Hancock said it’s his way of stepping up to thwart the threat on election equity — a serious concern of his and others.

“It is foundational to democracy that every eligible U.S. citizen should have a right — unabridged access to the ballot box,” the mayor said, adding: “When we see anything get in the way of that, we need to move in quickly to abrogate that that impediment.”

The event will take place from Oct. 21-23 at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Denver, a city lauded for its exceptional elections process.

Paul López is the clerk and recorder for Denver County. He’s also in charge of elections.

“I feel really bad for a lot of folks living in other counties across the country. They’re making it difficult, they’re adding obstacles,” he told Josh on Friday, the day officials began to send out election ballots to active voters in Denver County.

Josh questioned López on how officials ensure the ballots of those who may not be active voters, or those who may have passed away, don’t end up compromised or used in a fraudulent way.

“We compare constantly: our state records, with vital stats, with the DMV, we get daily updates, so we’re able to determine through our system who’s a valid voter,” he explained.

Data released this summer by the Brennan Center for Justice reveals nearly 1,000 bills restricting voter access have been introduced in 49 states, none of which have passed here in the state of Colorado.

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