The longest-serving current member of the Denver City Council, Paul López, can’t again vie for his seat representing the city’s District 3 due to term limits. But, he’s not quite ready to leave city public service yet.
Regarding the letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and the request to states for voter information:
I have administered elections in the City and County of Denver for over 12 years and our team has made it our mission to improve the voting experience for all eligible citizens by creating innovative solutions to better serve customers and improve operations. We come to work every day excited about the responsibility and opportunity to serve as election officials. For us, it is about administering one of the most sacred and essential rights we have as Americans.
We have tirelessly worked to make voter registration more efficient and convenient to encourage civic engagement.
I never expected to come to work and see such a sudden increase in voter registration withdrawals. I never expected to see more withdrawals in a day than new registrations.
The impact on voters is real. The impact on civic engagement is real. The impact on election offices is real. Colorado has the highest registration rate as a percentage of population, and if this week’s trend continues, that could quickly change. Here is the breakdown in Denver since Monday July 3, ironically, the day before our nation celebrated its independence: (the percentage increase compares the same types of voter transactions over the same number of days during the week of June 26.)
2,150% increase in voter registration withdrawals.
1,833% increase in walk-in transactions with voters.
790% increase in email communications from voters.
247% increase in phone calls from voters.
Here is a sampling of voter comments:
“It seems like an assault on our personal freedoms – of speech and privacy first and foremost.”
“I have concerns that my individually-identifiable information would be misused for illegitimate purposes. I sincerely hope that the Denver Elections Division does not support, or respond to, any such requests involving private information in the future.”
“I am sending this email to state my objection to providing any private information to the commission, should the Denver Elections Division (or the Colorado Secretary of State) be pressured in the future to provide such information.”
“Again, thank you for your efforts in protecting our voting integrity. What we are also gravely concerned about is the follow-up letter coming from the DOJ. Their demand seems very ominous. Will our confidential forms protect us from their demands? It appears that the DOJ may have more clout against the states who want to protect voting rights.”
“I am officially requesting that you DO NOT release my name to the federal government, in terms of my act of voting, or my voting record, or any information at all. Voting should remain a citizen’s private duty, and there is no need to do this. “
“Due to the decision to have my information given without my permission, I would like to have the form sent to me that allows me to unregister as a voter. Please send ASAP.”
“I’m afraid to withdraw my voter registration because some law or rule may change in the interim that won’t allow me to register again.”
“I appreciate that you are handling this matter thoughtfully and with the best interest of Colorado voters in mind.”
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, the top three rights that Americans view as essential to their freedom are the freedom of speech, the right to vote, and the right to privacy. It is understandable that Americans are concerned about this situation.
The Denver Elections Division has fought to modernize election processes and conduct fair, accurate, secure, transparent, efficient elections for our voters. As this issue plays out, it is imperative that the voices of voters and the professionals who are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of elections are heard.
Initial opinion polls have already been conducted and plans are being made by both sides in Denver, where voters will decide if they want to allow adults to use marijuana socially in regulated consumption spaces.
The Denver Elections Division found backers of the measure, called the Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, had submitted more than enough qualified petition signatures to place the measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
Fremont County Clerk Katie Barr isn’t sure whether her county is headed to its lowest primary election turnout in years or if there’s going to be a rush of ballots on Tuesday.
“It’s really slow,” she said. “I don’t know why people aren’t participating in the primary this year.”
Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers told the Loveland Herald Reporter what drives turnout is contested local races and this year there aren’t a lot of them in her jurisdiction.
Arapahoe County Republicans are borrowing a page from Secretary of State Wayne Williams and will participate in a food drive at their county assembly on March 19.
County chairwoman Joy Hoffman said she was inspired by the Super Bowl bet between Williams and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.
A Super Bowl bet to help the hungry already is paying off for Coloradans even before the game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers officially kicks off.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Rick Enstrom of Enstrom Candies are scheduled to deliver a load of groceries Thursday to the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Williams and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall wagered an unusual bet on Sunday’s Super Bowl game: Each office would collect food and donate it to their respective food banks.
If the Broncos win, the donations in both states are under their name. If the Panthers win, the donations are under their team name.
When Marshall indicated she wanted to wager on the game, Williams planned on betting buffalo steaks and Enstrom’s famous toffee. After hearing the bet was about food banks, Enstrom said he would load up on groceries.
“We’re delighted the Colorado and Carolina secretaries of state created this challenge and are choosing to help hungry families in honor of the big game,” said Kevin Seggelke, president and CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies.