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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
303-860-6903

Betsy Hart
betsy.hart@sos.state.co.us

Steve Hurlbert
steve.hurlbert@sos.state.co.us

State of Colorado
Department of State

1700 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290

Jena Griswold
Secretary of State

Ian Rayder
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

Ian Rayder
Deputy Secretary of State

Media contact
303-860-6903
Betsy Hart - betsy.hart@sos.state.co.us
Steve Hurlbert - steve.hurlbert@sos.state.co.us

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold Meets with Tribal Councils to Partner on Increased Voting Access on Tribal Lands

Denver, September 16, 2020 – Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold last week took a two-day trip to Southwest Colorado to meet with representatives of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and met virtually with the Southern Ute Tribe to discuss continued efforts to increase voting access for Native Americans living on tribal lands.

“Voting rights were not guaranteed to Native Americans living on tribal lands in Colorado until 1970, when the Colorado Constitution was amended,” said Secretary Griswold.  “We need to recognize historical voter suppression, and work to increase voting access and participation on tribal lands. That’s why I am happy to continue our work on voting access with Chairman Heart and the tribal council of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Chairman Sage and the tribal council of the Southern Ute Tribe. Last year, we worked together to pass law that guarantees a polling center and drop boxes on tribal lands. This year, we are collaborating on ways to continue to increase access.”

“The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is honored to partner with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to increase voter education and outreach among Native Americans in Southwest Colorado,” said Manuel Heart, Chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. “Together we can create a path other states and tribal nations can implement to support tribal sovereignty and government-to-government collaboration.”

“The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is grateful for Ms. Griswold’s leadership in the State of Colorado’s office of the Secretary of State and her desire to maintain a strong government-to-government relationship,” said Christine Sage, Chairman of the Southern Ute Tribe. “Her office has led the nation by bringing about voter equality to the members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as well as including tribally issued identification as proper identification when registering to vote or going to the polls on election day.”

In response to conversations with the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute, the Secretary of State’s Office is working to hire additional staff focused on Native American outreach and has funded additional  drop boxes, including one in Arboles, to better serve tribal members.   

Last year, Secretary Griswold worked closely with tribal leaders to help pass one of the largest democracy reform packages in the nation, which included specific provisions for voting on tribal lands, guaranteeing polling locations and drop boxes on tribal lands at tribal leaders request, and ensuring no one is disenfranchised for not having an address recognized by the United States Postal Service.

For more information, please visit www.GoVoteColorado.gov.