Shorten state’s early vot­ing, but en­cour­age greater par­tic­i­pa­tion

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Don Bishop,

“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 open­fo­rum@denverpost.com 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.

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