COLORADO SPRINGS — With Major League Baseball citing Georgia’s new election law as its reason to move the All Star game from Atlanta to Denver this year, it may have you wondering: are Colorado’s election laws really that different?
If you ask Colorado’s former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams, the answer is yes, Colorado’s voting laws are different, though some differences are smaller than others.
“Colorado election laws are very good,” Williams said. “It’s why Colorado’s been called the Gold Standard by a number of folks.”
Let’s compare and contrast.
“Everyone in Colorado is required to show identification or to provide identification in order to be eligible to vote,” Williams said.
On the surface, the two states' voter-ID laws may sound the same, but there are some minor differences.
In Georgia, you’ll have to provide an ID to vote by mail or in person, but if you vote by mail in Colorado, you’ll only have to do that the first time you vote by mail.
“Once you’ve verified who you are, your signature serves as that verification in the future,” Williams said.
When it comes to voting by mail, the differences are night and day.
In Georgia, you’ll have to have a specific reason to request an absentee ballot, and you can request that absentee ballot no earlier than 78 days before and no less than 11 days prior to an election.
“Colorado has not had a provision to have a cause for an absentee ballot in a long time,” Williams said.
In fact, absentee voting is essentially the standard in Colorado.
“By 2013, about 70 percent of the state had said, just send me a mail ballot.”
He says that’s why vote-by-mail became Colorado State law shortly after.
When it comes to submitting that ballot, in Colorado you can take it to a drop box.
“There is at least one in every county,” Williams said.
The Georgia law also requires at least one drop box in every county. But it limits drop boxes to no more than one per every 100,000 voters in a county.
But in Colorado, law requires counties to supply at least one drop box per every 12,500 voters.
“Colorado makes it very easy for people to cast a vote,” Williams said. “We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. And that really ought to be the standard across the country in my opinion.”