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For Immediate Release
Contact: Ryan Parsell
(719) 520-7322 or (719) 351-9626 - cell
Clerk and Recorder Warns of Issues with Late Elections Bill
Encourages Awareness of Bill’s Costs and Problems
[Colorado Springs, Colo. – April 8, 2013] El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne W. Williams today expressed concern over a radical and costly elections rewrite expected to be introduced this week at the Colorado General Assembly. The late bill strips voters of neighborhood voting, forces mail ballot delivery on voters who don’t want it, prescribes unnecessary numbers of expensive voting service centers, requires the perpetual mailing of ballots to voters who may have moved, and permits risky same-day voter registration, among other things.
“I want to make sure people understand that all county clerks do not support this bill. I am concerned about the integrity of the election system and preserving voter choice,” said Williams. Colorado’s most-populous county, El Paso County, is not a member of the private group known as the Colorado County Clerks Association (CCCA). “I strongly oppose many of the issues in the draft bill. I’m concerned people will take for granted clerk support because one group may be in support,” explained Williams.
According to Williams, cost estimates related to the bill’s mandates are staggering. “I asked my office to estimate the cost of making the changes in this rewrite. Net cost increases from this bill in El Paso County will be $695,900 in 2014,” Williams explained.
Colorado had the third-highest voter turnout in the nation in 2012, and Williams encourages legislators to approach wholesale changes to a proven election system carefully. “It would be wise to ask, ‘What problems are we trying to solve?’ Often, complaints about elections are easily remedied through a business approach to government processes that places higher value on positive customer service. Many such improvements can be made by county commissioners and county clerks at the local level who are directly responsible to the voters. Improvements don’t require a heavy-handed, top-down, legislative approach of one size fits all. Further, any suggested ‘improvements’ to our state’s election system ought to be judged on whether or not the intended outcome will result in greater system integrity, and accompanying greater voter confidence.”