Griswold: Colorado voting laws increased turnout, especially among historically disenfranchised

All-Star Game

A Colorado voter drops their ballot off at a ballot box. (KDVR)

DENVER (KDVR) — The MLB All-Star Game would not be in Colorado if it were not for the league moving the game from Georgia over their new controversial election laws.

Monday, Secretary of State Jena Griswold celebrated the move here as a win for inclusion.
Lawmakers and community members joined her, saying they want Georgia’s loss to be a lesson to the nation.

“You know, it is bittersweet, the reasons we have the game,” Griswold said.

She said it’s bitter for voters in America who want to participate in the electoral process.

“What we are seeing across the nation is the worst voter suppression since the Jim Crow era,” Griswold said.

She said Georgia’s laws that require voters to request ballots, that give voters less access to security-monitored ballot boxes and that restrict officials from distributing food and drinks to voters within 150 feet are discriminatory.

Community members agreed with her.

“I didn’t like it at all, and that’s why I’m here,” said Bishop Jerry Demmer of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance. “I’m here to say I stand with Secretary of State Jena Griswold. We are here to fight voter suppression. We are here to support many avenues and doors that people may vote.”

Griswold said Colorado’s method of sending ballots to every registered voter has proven not only to be effective, but inclusive.

“What we saw with the adoption with vote by mail for all and early voting was a 9% increase in participation overall. But when talking about communities that have been historically barred from casting a ballot, it was even a bigger increase. So that includes a 13% increase among black voters, 10% increase among Latino voters,” Griswold said.

Community leaders said their focus is now on making voting even more accessible.

“We’re going to become unified. We’re going to become what is written on paper: We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men are created equal,” Demmer said.

Leaders are also praising Colorado lawmakers for making voting more accessible for people who speak more than one language, creating a multilingual hotline for voters to access through legislation passed earlier this year.

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