SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and a few key members of his staff will visit Colorado May 4th and 5th to observe Colorado municipal elections first hand. Colorado is considered a national leader in elections administration. Despite historically low turnout across the nation in 2014, Colorado had the third highest voter turnout in the nation. Colorado innovations include early voting, vote centers in place of traditional polling locations, and mailing every registered voter in Colorado a ballot in advance of elections.
“The State of Colorado is demonstrating leadership with its elections administration. We can learn a lot from their example,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Colorado’s methods are working. They are increasing voter turnout. Adopting some of their methods may help us realize similar results here in California,” Secretary Padilla said.
“It makes sense to provide voters greater choice. It may be more convenient to vote near where you work, or where your kids go to school, or near your local supermarket. Voting centers provide that flexibility,” Padilla said. An element of Colorado reforms implemented in 2013 was to establish vote centers that replace traditional polling location. Vote centers allow citizens to vote where it is most convenient. Instead of being required to vote at a designated local polling place, Colorado citizens can vote at any vote center located in their county. Additionally, every registered voter in Colorado is now mailed a ballot ahead of elections. Voters have the choice of mailing the ballot, returning it to a vote center, or voting in person. Early voting is available 15 days before a general election and 10 days before a primary election.
Secretary Padilla will visit vote centers to view early voting and election day operations, meet with Colorado election officials to discuss best practices, and observe the tabulation of votes after the polls close on election night.