DENVER (AP) — Colorado Republicans on Monday launched their bid to undo a new elections law that allows same-day registration, saying they’re still not convinced the change isn’t a recipe for possible voting fraud.
Democrats insist the new law is sound and won’t be going anywhere.
The Republican proposal includes a two-year “time out” on the new law, which added same-day registration and a requirement that ballots go by mail to all registered voters. Republicans want to undo that law, at least temporarily, while a bipartisan panel reviews the measure.
Republicans say the law is riddled with problems, such as conflicting residency deadlines between state and local races. Their main gripe, though, is same-day voting registration, which makes voting more convenient for people who forget to register but could also make it more difficult to determine who’s eligible to vote in an election. Republicans point out that voters could go to any precinct in the state, declare an intent to move there and then cast a ballot in a local election.
“Citizens don’t want their elections to be free-for-alls,” said Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada.
The state Libertarian Party joined Republicans Monday in their call to revisit the elections law. Party chairman Jeff Orrok unsuccessfully sued over the law’s conflicting residency requirements last year.
However, Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature insist the elections law is sound. The conflicting residency requirements, they say, can be fixed with a bill that has already cleared the House and awaits consideration in the Senate.
Democratic sponsors insist the bill does nothing more than resolve residency requirement conflicts for local clerks. The bill is “designed to ensure that special districts, like fire districts or school boards, have some certainty in the law of how they conduct their elections,” said Jessie Ulibarri, D-Denver and a sponsor of the bill.
Two Republicans who originally signed on to the bill have withdrawn support, saying they can’t be part of the measure because it leaves intact same-day registrations and other voting changes they oppose.
“I can’t be part of a bill that says in many ways (the elections overhaul) was good policy,” said Rep. Carole Murray, a Republican and former clerk of Douglas County.
BY KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)