In November 2018, Coloradans elected Jena Griswold, a Let America Vote-supported voting rights champion, as Secretary of State. That election has led to major voting rights successes for Colorado in 2019.

In a big win for making registration more accessible, Colorado expanded automatic voter registration (SB 235). Prior to this bill’s passage, automatic voter registration was implemented administratively through the DMV. Sec. Griswold was a major proponent of the legislation. Automatic voter registration has been shown to universally expand voter registration.

Colorado Democrats also passed a significant measure (HB 1266) that restores voting rights to individuals on parole. This is an important step to ensure that all citizens’ right to vote is protected.

Colorado Democrats also passed a comprehensive voting bill (HB 1278) to improve registration and voting accessibility for Native Americans and students, expand voting hours, increase polling places, and allow 17 year olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 years of age for general elections. Another bill (SB 202) introduced by Colorado Democrats was enacted to improve voting access for voters with disabilities.

Colorado Republicans have not completely given up their fight to suppress votes, however. Republican state Rep. Patrick Neville introduced legislation (HB 1156) to require individuals to go through a bureaucratic process to prove citizenship when registering. This bad bill failed. Requiring more red tape to prove citizenship is an unnecessary barrier to registering and voting.

Colorado will be a key state in taking back the U.S. Senate in 2020. Democrats need to win the Senate in order to protect voting rights nationwide.