by Lyndsey Rogers, staff writer
When it comes to mail-in ballots, many people are wary of the reliability and safety. Of late, this voting style has been under scrutiny as many claim mail-in ballots can easily be tampered with or can be used to benefit one specific political party. Lucky for us, Colorado works hard to ensure mail-in ballots are a safe and easy way to cast votes.
Despite the skeptics, the popularity of the system has been increasing, especially in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a large role in the increased public approval due to the fact mail-in ballots allow a contactless form of voting. A Democratic party voting advocacy group, Democracy Docket, analyzes a study regarding the success of the mail-in ballot system. One of the successes mentioned is the increase in voter turnout.
People under 40 were found to be more likely to vote with the use of mail-in ballots—likely because of their convenience and simplicity. One commonly mentioned convenience of the mail-in ballot system is that voters save time from not having to physically vote. Reddit user, vsaint, states, “I now have time to research every person and initiative on the ballot and vote the way I want.”
Blue-collar workers, people with lower educational status, minorities, and even people who traditionally have high voting rates are also more likely to participate in an election when ballots can be mailed according to the research analysis from Democracy Docket.
A common argument against mail-in ballots is that mail-in ballots assist one party more than another, typically the Democratic side. However, current research shows this assumption is just not true.
Warren Cornwall, an author for an organization dedicated to writing about scientific discoveries and research, Science, analyzes a study conducted by political scientists Univ. of Virginia’s John Holbein and Brigham Young Univ.’s Michael Barber. The study examines whether the Democratic party or the Republican party benefits more from mail-in ballots.
The answer, despite some beliefs, is neither party gets a larger advantage.
Holbein and Barber investigated over 40 million different voting records. The results showed a small uptake in the Democratic party voting turnout but not enough of an increase in democratic votes to make a significant change in overall election results.
Colorado is familiar with the concerns surrounding mail-in ballots, and works hard to prevent any mishandling. The Elections Division of Colorado Secretary of State’s Office addresses the concerns of possible fraud or tampering of ballots and ensures the reliability for the upcoming election. They mention Colorado uses paper ballots instead of electronic versions as a way of preventing fraud.
Ballots will be transported in a sealed container by a team of two election judges from opposing parties. Counting will take place in a secure location. Only state or county employees and election judges who have performed a background check will be permitted into the building. The locks on the doors are changed frequently, all entries must be logged, and video surveillance cameras record the building’s activity. All of these measures are used to ensure a secure and effective election.
Another method of safety Colorado implements is a ballot tracking system. To check the listed address, make profile changes, and check the status of the mailed ballot’s location voters can access the website www.GoVoteColorado.gov. For a more detailed tracking system a website called BallotTrax (https://colorado.ballottrax.net) can be used to see information from when the ballot is mailed out all the way to when it is returned and accepted.
Rest assured that your vote will count in Colorado. Republicans and Democrats alike have worked side by side to make our system safe and reliable.
Election season in Colorado is coming up on November 8. The following facts are the important information to know about the upcoming election’s mail-in ballots:
- Mail–in ballots will be sent out a few weeks before the election to the address listed on the voter registration file
- All individuals who are registered to vote no later than October 31 will receive a ballot
- Those who are not registered by October 31 will need to vote in person
- Contact the county clerk in the event a replacement ballot is needed due to damage, loss, or other circumstances
- Either send the blank mail-in ballot back or just don’t use it in the case of voting in-person instead
- Any unanswered questions on the ballot will not affect the filled-out questions from being counted
- Mail-in ballots can be dropped off at a designated drop-off box or sent back through the normal mail system
- All ballots need to be returned no later than 7 PM on election day to be counted