Automatic Voter Registration for Colorado – a convenience for new voters but improvements are needed.

Friday April 19 well after 7:30AM and probably before 9AM the Colorado Senate State Appropriations Committee will hear or has heard testimony on Senate Bill 19-235

The live committee audio is available here when the committee is in session (Fridays at 7:30AM mountain):

This bill changes the legacy approach to registration in Colorado – a foundation of the accuracy and integrity of the election – by supplementing the deliberate application process for registration to vote with a government triggered transfer of personal data from various public entities that have access to information that could lead to voter registration. The information is provided to the Secretary of State and from there to the county clerks and recorders throughout Colorado. These clerks will then send letters asking the people at the provided addresses if they want to (or are required to in case they are not eligible) to decline registration. The clerks are also mandated to each provide a system for collecting signatures from these persons in order to complete their registrations.

I have written extensive comments located on this page on this site addressing each of the problematic provisions in this bill and each provision that raises questions about deleterious side effects. There are also opportunities missed in the bill to correct some poor language in statute and to improve the signature collection and verification process that eligibility in Colorado elections depends on.

Please visit this link to read the comments:

Colorado has been much complimented on its election process- largely because of excellent security provisions for the internet connected database and the tabulation audit called a risk limiting audit (RLA). A major portion of the election process that has received little attention is eligibility determination for our 95% mail ballot state. The bill SB-235 makes significant changes to the collection of evidence -reference signatures- to support signature verification of signatures on returned ballot envelopes.

In my opinion, much informed by direct observation in dozens of Colorado counties, the bill takes Colorado in a lower integrity direction by unnecessarily adding opportunities for capturing reference signatures that are signed remotely and signed electronically. Electronic signatures currently collected by tablet devices at motor vehicle registration and licensing stations cause difficulties for credible eligibility determination by comparison to signatures on envelopes. Fortunately these problems are correctable if statute reiterates principles to guide the Secretary of State in promulgating rules. One such principle is that the primary reference signature stored in the database should be signed in-person with pen on paper in front of an official. I encourage Colorado to establish this principle in statute for extrapolation in rule.

Harvie Branscomb April 10, 2019 Carbondale CO

2 thoughts on “Automatic Voter Registration for Colorado – a convenience for new voters but improvements are needed.

  1. While I applaud streamlining voter registration, I must admit to being extremely concerned about the possibility of this method allowing undocumented aliens to vote. How do you plan on correcting that flaw?

    1. Thanks very much for your comment. I am also curious. They will say there are database checks that are used. I suggest you direct comments to the sponsors of the bill SB 235. Here are their email addresses:

      Steve Fenberg

      Jessie Danielson

      Daneya Esgar

      Kyle Mullica

      Also I suggest the Secretary of State
      and Deputy SOS

      The bill will be considered in the Joint Budget Committee hearing on Friday 4/19 that starts at 7:30AM and can be listened to here: . It is last on the list of about 20 bills and might not be discussed until 8:30AM or later.

      Some time next week it will be discussed on the Senate Floor that can be watched on the

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