BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1186
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved that House Bill 09-1186 be referred to the C||PASS|
01:49 PM -- House Bill 09-1186
Senator Carroll, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1186, concerning the delivery of a mail-in ballot to the designated election official by the elector. She said that House Bill 09-1186 will alleviate confusion among the public regarding the locations at which a mail-in ballot may be dropped off. She said that these locations vary by county, and that it is more intuitive to allow the ballots to be dropped off at a voter's polling place. She said that House Bill 09-1186 will also allow an individual to drop off as many as ten mail-in ballots for other voters. She stated that "she dearly cherishes the right of citizens to vote." She said that the electoral system should be as user-friendly as possible, and that House Bill 09-1186 will increase the probability of ballots being delivered. Senator Carroll said that House Bill 09-1186 is a reasonable accommodation to busy voters. Senator Bacon said that House Bill 09-1186 will also eliminate problems with the issuance of provisional ballots.
The following persons testified in regard to House Bill 09-1186:
02:06 PM -- Nancy Doty, Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder, commented on procedures in her county for gathering mail-in ballots. She said that sending runners to pick up ballots will cost the county thousands of dollars. She outlined the expenses that her county expects to incur if House Bill 09-1186 is enacted.
02:22 PM -- Margit Johansson, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, stated concerns regarding the number of ballots that an individual may drop off.
02:30 PM -- Hillary Hall, representing the Colorado County Clerks Association, commented on procedures for dropping off mail-in ballots in Boulder County. She spoke of the cost of processing mail ballots. She said that 10 percent of ballots were returned on election day in Boulder County at the last general election. She said the association has no position on House Bill 09-1186.
02:35 PM -- Pam Anderson, representing the Colorado County Clerks Association, commented on the use of mail-in ballots in Jefferson County. She said that a preponderance of the polling places in her county are housed in schools. She said that if an excessive number of voters drop off mail-in ballots at schools it could impact the operations of the school and affect parking for other voters entering the polling place at the school. She said that there is no difference in the administration of the process, whether five ballots or ten ballots, are dropped off by an individual. She noted that, once a ballot is submitted to a polling place, it cannot be altered by the voter. She said that House Bill 09-1186 could drive a significant fiscal impact on her county.
02:55 PM -- Christine Watson, representing the League of Women Voters of Colorado, supported House Bill 09-1186. She said that many inquiries are received from voters who would like to drop off their mail-in ballots at their polling place. She added that House Bill 09-1186 will increase consistency in the process.
03:04 PM -- Faith Gross, representing the Legal Center for People with Disabilities, read testimony on behalf of Elena Nunez of Colorado Common Cause, supporting House Bill 09-1186. She testified that Denver County is the only county allowing mail-in ballots to be dropped off at numerous locations, and that this practice has eliminated much confusion among voters in the county.
03:08 PM -- Mike Scarpello, Elections Director, City and County of Denver, supported House Bill 09-1186. He commented on the practice of the City and County of Denver to allow mail-in ballots to be accepted at polling places on election day. He said that approximately 53 percent of the mail-in ballots are returned at polling places on election day. He said that this process has been implemented for less than $20,000 by the City and County of Denver, and that Denver simply purchased an additional polling box for each polling place. He said that the cost of implementing the process has been minimal, and that its implementation presented no difficulties to the city. He said that this opportunity should be implemented across the state and that it would make voting more convenient for all voters in the state. He added that many people forget to drop off their ballots until election day and that House Bill 09-1186 will increase voter turnout.
03:15 PM -- Kristen Thomson, representing the Vote by Mail Project, supported House Bill 09-1186. She said that there was a "massive increase in the use of mail-in ballots in the last election." She noted that she brought the idea for House Bill 09-1186 to Senator Carroll. She added that mail-in ballots allow the public to better study the candidates and issues on the ballot.
|TIME: || 03:29:04 PM|
|MOTION:||Moved that House Bill 09-1186 be referred to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a 3-2-0 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 3 NO: 2 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS