2012 General Election Review: A Colorado Success Story
In Colorado, efforts to increase military and overseas voter turnout were a huge success in 2012. Compared to 2008, Colorado issued 19.4% more ballots to military and overseas voters and witnessed a 65% increase in the number of ballots returned. In the 2008 election, military and overseas voters returned 69.6% of ballots mailed and 73.5% were counted. In 2012, military and overseas voters returned 93.6% of ballots and 97.8% were counted.
According to Eric Eversole, the Executive Director of the MVP Project, “The efforts taken by the Colorado Secretary of State played a significant role in increasing military and overseas voter participation. The online systems and extended deadlines made it easier to request and receive absentee ballots–even if those requests came weeks before the election. Colorado’s success was truly extraordinary given the decrease witnessed by many states in 2012.”
The Secretary of State launched several programs that helped account for this big increase.
Read the full report here: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/newsRoom/publications/2012GeneralElectionReview.pdf
Colorado has a long and proud history of military service. From early 19th century military exploration of the Colorado Territory to the modern-day war on terror, Colorado residents have served this country valiantly.
The United States Air Force Academy, NORAD, several other major military installations, and over 50,000 military personnel call Colorado home. In addition, Colorado houses VFW Post 1, the first and oldest VFW post in the U.S., and nearly 500,000 veterans reside in Colorado.
With such a strong and proud history of military service, it follows that Colorado’s military voting policies are among the most advanced in the nation. Colorado often receives national recognition for erasing barriers to military voting. By informing voters, utilizing new technologies, and spearheading legislative changes, Colorado strives to make military voting easier than ever.
Online ballot marking tool. Colorado recently implemented a new ballot-on-demand system that allows a military voter to download a ballot online, mark, review, and then print the ballot for return to the voter’s county election office. Any uniformed service member or family member may use the online ballot delivery tool. The system makes ballots available for military voters 45 days before the election, giving troops and their families ample time to mark and cast ballots.
Military and overseas voters website. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office updates and maintains one of the best websites for military and overseas voters in the nation. The website, located at GoVoteColorado.com/mil, contains a wealth of information and serves as one-stop shopping for all military voter needs. From this website a voter may access his ballot, verify or update his voter registration information, locate contact information for his county clerk and recorder, and access several military and civilian voting assistance program websites.
Colorado’s comprehensive website also makes voter registration easier than ever. If a military voter has a Colorado driver’s license or state-issued ID, she may register online. Additionally, voters may request a ballot or update registration information online. This one-stop-shop lets a voter quickly and easily handle voting-related tasks.
Guide for military and overseas voters. The comprehensive Guide for Military and Overseas Voters may be the most beneficial document on the website. The guide contains nearly 15 pages of information and application forms and helps military voters resolve voting issues. A voter can easily download and print the guide for reference at times without internet access.
Colorado’s military personnel and veterans have made great sacrifices in the name of freedom and democracy, and Colorado wants to ensure their voices are heard on Election Day. Whether through legislation, election rules, or implementation of best practices, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office remains at the forefront of ensuring military enfranchisement.