ACTION ALERT! Amend SB21-188
Electronic Ballot Return for Voters with Disabilities
(Note: The bill name on the legislature website uses a non-standard meaning of “ballot access.”)
Sponsor: Sen. Jessie Danielson
Under current law, voters with disabilities are allowed to electronically receive and mark a ballot, but must print and return a paper ballot. In only 2 special cases – UOCAVA (military and overseas) and Emergency ballots – can voters electronically return a ballot. SB21-188 would allow any voter with a disability to electronically submit a ballot – a process which is vulnerable to hacking. The LWVUS supports voting systems that “employ a voter-verifiable paper ballot.” [Impact on Issues, 2020-2022, p. 27]
The League’s dual missions of “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy” are in conflict in the current version of this bill. We want to empower a blind voter without a printer to vote in the privacy of their home, but we want to defend democracy and not unnecessarily expose our elections to interference. Approximately 1 in 6 Americans is classified with a disability. To defend our democracy, only those voters with disabilities such that they cannot independently vote and return a paper ballot should be allowed to submit an electronic ballot. The League is asking to amend the bill to limit electronic ballot return to voters with a print disability, i.e., a condition in which a user is unable to read or use standard printed material due to blindness, visual disability, or physical limitation.
SB21-188 passed out of the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee on April 6, 2021.
CALL YOUR Senator TODAY – Soon members of the State Senate will decide whether this bill moves forward and advances to the House of Representatives. Contact and urge your Senator to amend SB21-188 to limit electronic ballot return to voters with a print disability.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF COLORADO
EMPOWERING VOTERS. DEFENDING DEMOCRACY.
EMPODERAR A LOS VOTANTES. LA DEFENSA DE LA DEMOCRACIA.