Election 2018Hot Sheet

Democratic secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold wins endorsement from Let America Vote organization

Author: Ernest Luning - March 9, 2018 - Updated: March 9, 2018

Democratic secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Calling her a “voting rights champion,” Let America Vote, a progressive organization devoted to fighting voter suppression efforts and expanding voting rights, this week endorsed Jena Griswold, one of two Democrats challenging Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

“Jena Griswold knows that the right to vote is fundamental in our country, and I know she’ll work hard to protect and expand that right as Colorado’s secretary of state,” said Jason Kander, a former Missouri secretary of state and the group’s founder, in a statement. “Jena Griswold has already demonstrated a commitment to protecting voters person by person in Colorado during the 2012 elections. She’s a voting rights champion who is answering the call to public service, and I’m proud to give her Let America Vote’s endorsement.”

Kander, who lost a U.S. Senate bid two years ago and is considered a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is scheduled to appear Monday at a fundraiser for Griswold in Denver.

Griswold, a 33-year-old attorney, said she was honored to receive the endorsement.

“Like Jason, I will protect our right to vote and fight to get dark money out of politics,” she said in a statement. “Every eligible voter — whether Republican, Democrat or unaffiliated — deserves to have a voice in the future of our state and nation.”

Let America Vote opposes voter-ID laws and supports automatic and same-day voter registration, as well as expanding opportunities for early voting and allowing otherwise-eligible people with felony convictions to vote.

On most of the group’s priorities, Colorado scores well. The state, which conducts all-mail ballot elections and offers early voting at vote centers, doesn’t require voters to furnish photo IDs, it allows same-day registration, both in person and online. Felons can’t vote in Colorado while incarcerated or on parole but are able to once they’ve completed their sentences. In the 2016 presidential election, Colorado voters turned out at the fourth-highest rate in the nation and have the highest rate of registration in the country.

Griswold worked on President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign on voting rights matters and later served as director of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office representing state interests in Washington, D.C.

Democrat Phillip Villard, a political newcomer, is also running for the office.

 The primary election is June 26.


Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.