Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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Colorado state seal

News Release

Media contact
Serena Woods
serena.woods@sos.state.co.us
303-860-6903

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Jenny Flanagan
Deputy Secretary of State

Colorado state seal

News Release

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Jenny Flanagan
Deputy Secretary of State

Media contact
Serena Woods
serena.woods@sos.state.co.us
303-860-6903

Legislative Recap: Colorado Passes Democracy Package

Campaign Finance Reform, Automatic Voter Registration, Lobbying Reform & Expanding Access to the Ballot Await Governor's Signature

Denver, May 3, 2019 – Colorado's 72nd General Assembly will conclude today. During this session, the General Assembly passed a package of pro-democracy legislation. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold's agenda for this session included campaign finance reform; increased lobbyist transparency; expanded automatic voter registration; and reforms to increase voting access for all eligible Coloradans, including increased polling locations and drop boxes in the final days before polls close, and guaranteed polling locations and drop boxes on public universities and tribal lands. Secretary Griswold worked with the legislature to advance this agenda. The bills passed include:

  • The Clean Campaign Act of 2019 (HB19-1318 - Weissman, Foote, Bridges): This legislation helps stop dark money and adds transparency to secret political spending by requiring organizations that give money to Colorado SuperPACs to disclose their funding sources. It also prevents all foreign nationals, foreign corporations, and foreign countries from spending money on any type of political communication in Colorado; ensures that corporations that spend money on ballot initiatives disclose that they paid for the communication; and requires "paid for by" disclaimers on communications to voters from any committee.

  • Campaign Finance Enforcement (SB19-232 - Weissman, Foote): This legislation codifies existing rules that the Secretary of State's office enacted in 2018 in response to a Federal District Court ruling. This legislation puts enforcement mechanisms into law and modernizes Colorado's enforcement process to be more fair, speedy, and constitutional.

  • Lobbyist Transparency Act (HB19-1248 - Foote, Cutter, Weissman): This legislation updates lobbyist disclosure requirements to give Coloradans better information about who is working to influence lawmakers' decisions. It also stops attorneys who lobby from hiding their lobbying activity. This legislation ensures that the legislature, the public, and the media will more readily know the identity of lobbyists' clients.

  • Automatic Voter Registration (SB19-235 - Fenberg, Danielson, Mullica, Esgar): This legislation streamlines automatic voter registration at drivers' license offices and expands the program to eligible Coloradans applying for Medicaid. Expanding automatic voter registration will increase access to voter registration for eligible Coloradans and help make our voter rolls more accurate.

  • Modifications to Uniform Election Code (HB19-1278 - Lontine, Fenberg): This legislation increases access to Voter Service & Polling Centers (VSPCs) and ballot drop boxes across Colorado, and gives county clerks the tools they need to run efficient elections in their communities. This bill also improves access to voting for college students by guaranteeing ballot drop boxes on small public higher education institutions and VSPCs on large public higher education institutions. It also expands access to voters living on Colorado's tribal lands. In addition to expanding access for voters, the legislation includes needed technical modifications to ballot access and other election laws.

"This pro-democracy package increases access to voter registration and voting for all Coloradans, especially students, young people and working families; shines light on secret political spending and lobbying; and will stop special-interests, corporations, and the well-connected from side-stepping the law," said Secretary Griswold. "Coloradans deserve a democracy that they can believe in. I am proud to build on Colorado's national leadership in elections by making Colorado a national leader in democracy."

Secretary Griswold also applauds these additional pro-democracy bills passed by the General Assembly this session:

  • Contribution Limits for County Offices (HB19-1007 - Sirota, Zenzinger): Secretary Griswold supported this legislation to set contribution limits for county offices, which limits corruption and helps keep big money out of our politics.

  • Campaign Contributions Dependent Care Expenses (SB19-229 - Winter, Foote, Mullica, Gonazles-Gutierrez): Secretary Griswold testified in favor of this legislation, which allows candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare, giving more working- and middle-class parents the opportunity to run for office.

  • Electioneering Communication (SB19-068 - Tate, Zenzinger, Weissman, Cutter): Secretary Griswold testified in favor of this legislation, which closes a loophole that allowed for unreported electioneering communications between the primary and general elections.

  • Voting access for people with Disabilities (SB19-202 - Danielson, Zenzinger, Froelich): This legislation would require the Secretary of State to develop policies to increase access to the ballot for voters with disabilities, by ensuring they can independently mark a ballot or use an electronic voting device that produces a paper record using nonvisual access or low-vision access technology.

  • Parolee Voting (HB19-1266 - Herod, Fenberg): This legislation restores the right to vote to people serving a sentence of parole.