Shorten state’s early voting, but encourage greater participation
“Don’t change Colorado’s early voting,” March 27 My Turn column.
As an election judge in the last three elections, I’d like to respond to Elena Nunez’s column on early voting.
While I enthusiastically support our state’s policy of easy registration and voting, I believe the present hours are excessive and not effectively chosen. We arrived on the first day at 6 a.m. to set up. We opened the polls at 7 a.m. and waited for voters. Nobody came! Our primary activities in the first week were knitting, reading, snacking and conversation.
Some days, no voters appeared until afternoon. My experience suggests we served only a few voters per day in the first Monday through Friday. I recommend that we shorten or eliminate the first five days, opening the polls on the second Saturday before Election Day.
Many voters came to the polling stations because they didn’t get their mail ballots. Invest some of the savings (from having fewer early voting days) into a campaign to remind voters to update their registration if they have moved since they last voted.
Finally, let’s encourage citizens to vote early and avoid the long lines on Election Day. Send letters of 150 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org or 101 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 800, Denver, CO, 80202. Please include full name, city and phone number. Contact information is for our purposes only; we will not share it with anyone else. You can reach us by telephone at 303-954-1331.