DENVER (CBS4) – State lawmakers are taking up a controversial issue once again — whether or now people in Colorado should be required to show a photo ID in order to vote.
It’s an issue lawmakers have tackled in the past, but it’s failed and this time around supporters say the idea of requiring an ID to vote is catching on. On Tuesday at a hearing for the bill some Coloradans voiced their concerns.
“It is the right thing to do,” Levi Martinez said.
Martinez can’t figure out why if he needs a photo ID to go to the bank or board a plane, why doesn’t he need one to vote?
“Why aren’t we willing to do this when we have to exercise the most sacred right, the most sacred duty as an American?” Martinez said.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler agrees and says House Bill 1111, which would require someone to present a photo ID to vote, is the best way to combat fraud.
“It’s very hard to detect fraud and when it does occur,” Gessler said. “It’s very hard to do anything about it because the ballots are already in.”
“What it does is target people,” an opponent said during the hearing.
Opponents say it would affect those who have a hard time getting around and getting an ID, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
“By restricting the ability to vote we violate these principals and betray the best of America. This bill is catastrophic,” another opponent said.
“We should be encouraging voter access and making sure every legally registered voter in the state of Colorado has that access,” said Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver.
In Tuesday’s committee hearing the bill was approved 5-4. Next it’s on to the House Appropriations Committee. If it passes there it’s expected to get some stiff resistance in the House and Senate.