Branscomb comments on Colorado Senate Bill 19-235 Automatic Voter Registration

(version F)

 First Regular Session Seventy-second General Assembly

STATE OF COLORADO

INTRODUCED (pre-amended from Senate committee)

[annotated within brackets by Harvie Branscomb]

[harvie@electionquality.com 4/18/2019 version F
Bill text commented upon is highlighted in
BOLD.]

LLS NO. 19-0472.01 Megan Waples x4348

SENATE BILL 19-235

A BILL FOR AN ACT CONCERNING THE TRANSFER OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS BY VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES IN ORDER TO REGISTER VOTERS.

SENATE SPONSORSHIP

Fenberg and Danielson,

HOUSE SPONSORSHIP

Esgar and Mullica,

Senate Committees House Committees State, Veterans, & Military Affairs

Bill Summary (Note:  This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this bill passes third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://leg.colorado.gov.)

The bill requires the department of revenue to transfer to the secretary of state (secretary) the electronic record of each eligible elector who applies for the issuance, renewal, or correction of a Colorado driver’s license or identification card. The elector’s county clerk reviews the record for completeness and sends the elector a notice advising that the elector has been registered to vote. The elector can return the notice to either decline to be registered or affiliate with a party. If the elector does not decline to be registered within 20 days after the notice is mailed and the form is not returned as undeliverable, the elector is registered to vote. The department of health care policy and financing is also required to begin transferring to the secretary the electronic records of electors who apply for medicaid. The elector’s county clerk reviews the record for completeness and sends the elector a notice advising that the elector has been registered to vote. The elector can return the notice to decline to be registered, affiliate with a party, or provide a signature if necessary for their record. If the elector does not decline to be registered within 20 days after the notice is mailed and the form is not returned as undeliverable, the elector is registered to vote. Agencies that oversee offices designated as voter registration agencies are required to begin reporting information to the secretary related to the number of people who apply for benefits or programs, the number of voter registration choice forms the offices collect, and the number of people who receive voter registration forms. The office of information technology is required to assess and report to the secretary which voter registration agencies collect sufficient information for voter registration purposes. When the office of information technology and the secretary determine that an agency collects sufficient information, the agency is required to begin transferring records to the secretary for voter registration purposes. Unless a person who knows they are ineligible to vote intentionally takes voluntary action to become registered, the transfer of the person’s record by a voter registration agency does not constitute completion of a voter registration form by that person.

The bill creates a process for electors who are registered through a voter registration agency to provide a signature for verification if they return a ballot in an election but a copy of their signature is not found in the statewide voter registration system. The bill makes conforming amendments to provisions related to voter registration requirements.

[General principles and overall thoughts by Harvie Branscomb (version F). I will attempt to provide suggested amendments based on these comments in a future text:

Additional commentary based on the Senate SVMA hearing.

I heard very clearly the sponsor claim that this bill does not change the opt-out status of Colorado that was put in place by Secretary Williams. I did visit a CDOR Drivers License bureau this week and learned from the manager that every person who registers is asked if they want to register to vote and various questions related to eligibility. I asked specifically if that was an opt-in to voting and she said yes. So if the law has prescribed an opt-out scenario at the DMV, at some such office the protocol is still opt-in. I am not bothered by that. But the understanding that Colorado is already expecting opt-out seems incorrect.

Lori Mitchell, Clerk and Recorder of Chaffee County testified that a “wet signature” is needed (for quality signature verfication.) I strongly agree. Martha Tierney later advised that the bill calls for a wet signature. I see no evidence of that here. I do hope to see it.

1) In the registration and eligibility determination phase of the election, need for confidentiality should be kept to a minimum. Voter identities and addresses must be public knowledge in order to verify that ballots submitted by them, and more precisely the exact contests that are voted on are eligible to be counted. The special considerations for “confidentiality” in this bill will no doubt interfere in practice with transparency needed for verification of election accuracy. It will be very difficult to write precise rules for handling of many cases where registrations exist for voters who are not interested, wish not to be on the voter rolls, are required not to be on the voter rolls, etc.

2) This statutory proposal attempts to micromanage the details of records handling but has not yet apparently considered all the detrimental side effects of these management decisions. Regardless of the fact that CRS 1-2-509 was written with similar micro-management, the SOS should be required to produce rules that respect principles that ought to be stated in statute and should be here in this bill substituting for e.g. detailed cutoff dates for handling of returned undeliverable registration confirmation letters. Such principles are (in order of precedence from what I suggest is most important to least):

* maximum public access to eligible voter identity and residence address;

* protection of privacy of persons who have not chosen to register or are not eligible to register;

* presumption of innocence of persons who may not be eligible;

* functional quality and accuracy of identity associated with signatures collected for purposes of signature verification;

* provision for verification of voter eligibility for particular contests in an election

* etc.

3) This bill also opens the crucial topic of remote eligibility determination via signature verification – a topic that very much deserves a substantial improvement as we have gone from a minority of absentee voters to 95% vote by mail and meanwhile added software signature comparison, mechanized handling of return envelopes and collected too many signature samples from long term voters- and at least one more with each new election. Unfortunately this bill goes in the wrong direction from what is needed – encouraging additional use of electronic signatures and expecting county clerks to solve the collection of signature problem without statutory definition of the quality needed for signature verification. What is actually needed is a means to prioritize signatures according to credibility and a way to gradually weed out old and incomparable or incredible signatures from our database. What is needed is more signing of “wet” reference signatures by pen on paper and more signing in front of officials. Neither of those directions are inherent in the proposed bill text, in fact the opposite seems to be expected – more remote signing and signing by electronic means.]

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 1-2-213.3 as follows: 1-2-213.3. Transfer of new voter registration records from department of revenue.

(1) IN ADDITION TO SECTION 1-2-213, THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SHALL PROVIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ON A SCHEDULE ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ELECTRONIC RECORDS CONTAINING THE FULL NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, RESIDENCE ADDRESS, DELIVERABLE MAILING ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM THE RESIDENCE ADDRESS, COUNTY OF RESIDENCE, CITIZENSHIP INFORMATION FOR, AND AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF THE SIGNATURE OF EACH UNREGISTERED ELECTOR AND EACH PERSON ELIGIBLE TO PREREGISTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2-101 (2) WHO APPLIES FOR THE ISSUANCE, RENEWAL, OR CORRECTION OF ANY TYPE OF DRIVER’S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD PURSUANT TO PART 3 OF ARTICLE 2 OF TITLE 42; EXCEPT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVENUE SHALL NOT USE TRANSFER THE RECORD OF AN INDIVIDUAL WHO APPLIES FOR OR RENEWS AN IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT UNDER PART 5 OF ARTICLE 2 OF TITLE 42 FOR VOTER REGISTRATION PURPOSES.

[The Dept. of Revenue is silently required here to have access to the voter registration database in order to be able to know which records (only “unregistered”) to send to the SOS. That agency is not expected to know whether a person is “eligible” unlike the expectation of the Dept. of Health Care Policy in the otherwise very similar Section 3 of this bill. The Dept. of Revenue is more likely to have access to citizenship status, but the bill doesn’t ask for this information, whereas in Section 3 the Dept. of Health Care Policy is expected to know who is eligible. This seems almost backwards and raises serious issues about privacy. (new in version E comments)

It matters for quality of signature verification what is the source of the electronic copy of the signature – if it is not signed in pen on paper in front of an official, then – and especially in the context of this attempt to collect new signatures for new voters – such a signature should be considered second class, and in need of eventual replacement with a first class signature – namely signed in pen on paper in front of an official. Unfortunately the CO driver’s license and ID card application process results in a signature signed electronically on a tablet at a CDOR office or county clerks office. This bill will add other uncontrolled sources such as Medicaid. Tablet signatures are known to be difficult to use to verify the pen on paper signatures that arrive on envelopes. This increased collection of signatures focuses attention on this issue, and this bill should take action to arrange for collection of signatures adequate for election purposes. (edited for version F)]

(2) UPON RECEIVING AN ELECTRONIC RECORD, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROVIDE THE INFORMATION TO THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE PERSON RESIDES. UPON RECEIPT OF A RECORD, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL DETERMINE IF THE RECORD IS COMPLETE FOR THE PURPOSES OF VOTER REGISTRATION. IF THE RECORD IS NOT COMPLETE, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL SEND TO THE PERSON’S ADDRESS OF RECORD, BY NONFORWARDABLE MAIL, NOTICE THAT THE PERSON HAS NOT BEEN REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED TO VOTE AND STATING THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED TO REGISTER OR PREREGISTER. IF THE PERSON PROVIDES THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED TO VOTE EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE. IF THE PERSON DOES NOT PROVIDE THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NECESSARY TO MAKE HIS OR HER APPLICATION COMPLETE AND ACCURATE WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE NOTIFICATION IS MAILED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION (2), THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED.

[ What is the status (especially as presumably recorded in SCORE) of the pending registration during this 24 month period? Will SCORE notify the official or automatically remove the voter from the “pending” list at the end of 24 months?]

(3) IF THE RECORD IS COMPLETE FOR PURPOSES OF VOTER REGISTRATION OR PREREGISTRATION, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL SEND TO THE PERSON’S ADDRESS OF RECORD MAILING ADDRESS, BY NONFORWARDABLE MAIL:

(a) IF THE RECORD IS FOR AN ELIGIBLE ELECTOR, NOTICE THAT THE ELECTOR HAS BEEN REGISTERED TO VOTE AND A POSTAGE PAID PRE-ADDRESSED RETURN FORM BY WHICH THE ELECTOR MAY:

(I) DECLINE TO BE REGISTERED AS AN ELECTOR; OR

(II) AFFILIATE WITH A POLITICAL PARTY; AND

(b) IF THE RECORD IS FOR A PERSON ELIGIBLE TO PREREGISTER UNDER SECTION 1-2-101 (2), NOTICE THAT THE PERSON HAS BEEN PREREGISTERED AND WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY REGISTERED UPON TURNING EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, AND A POSTAGE PAID PREADDRESSED RETURN FORM BY WHICH THE PERSON MAY:

(I) DECLINE TO BE PREREGISTERED; OR

(II) AFFILIATE WITH A POLITICAL PARTY.

(4) A NOTICE MAILED UNDER SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION MUST INCLUDE AN EXPLANATION, IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH, OF THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER OR PREREGISTER TO VOTE, AND A STATEMENT THAT, IF THE PERSON IS NOT ELIGIBLE, THE PERSON SHOULD DECLINE TO REGISTER USING THE PREADDRESSED RETURN FORM.

[This is obviously the Achilles heel of this bill. The idea that all non-election-eligible recipients of health care, driver’s licenses, ID cards, and possibly other government related benefits such as Medicaid or sanctions from law enforcement will become registered to vote unless they return by post a statement of declination to register frankly seems to resemble a sting operation. What it the USPS fails to deliver the return message to “decline? I think others will be objecting to this portion with justification.]

(5) THE NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION MUST INCLUDE A STATEMENT THAT, IF THE PERSON DECLINES TO REGISTER OR PREREGISTER TO VOTE, THE FACT THAT THE PERSON HAS DECLINED WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL BE USED ONLY FOR VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS PURPOSES, AND A STATEMENT THAT, IF A PERSON REMAINS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED TO VOTE, THE OFFICE AT WHICH THE PERSON WAS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL BE USED ONLY FOR VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS PURPOSES.

[This requires only a statement to be sent– does it require the underlying confidentiality policy? What does confidential mean in practice? The non-voter remains in SCORE with a “non-registered flag” that cannot be seen except through special authentication? If SCORE deletes the non-voter record will the non-voter continue to get new registration notices as often as some agency alerts the SOS to existence of the person?  Notice that the statement does not say the identity of the individual will be deleted from records but only that the fact of declination will be confidential. Does this add the non-voter to the Address Confidentiality Program? One certainly hopes not.

In addition, the above statutory text calls for the office at which the person was “registered” (but not really) to remain confidential? Why? Is this to protect the office from awareness of the voter who delivered their identity to the SOS? It is hard to imagine another explanation.]

(6) (a) (I) IF A NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTIONS (2) AND (3) OF THIS SECTION IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE WITHIN TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER MAILS THE NOTICE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION OR PREREGISTRATION IS CANCELLED AND THE
PERSON IS DEEMED TO HAVE NEVER REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED.

IF THE NOTICE IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE AFTER TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER MAILS THE NOTICE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION OR PREREGISTRATION IS MARKED INACTIVE.

[ The justification for this distinction needs to be clarified. Notice that in practice, SCORE or something just like it will have to manage these time frames and act accordingly. Obviously the privacy of these persons who have not taken steps to register, and have not even received the notice, has not been protected while the identify information must reside in SCORE and their voter record shows active until the notice returns as undeliverable. This cutoff date deserves to be in rule rather than statute for practical reasons.]

(II) NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION (6)(a)(I) OF THIS SECTION, IF A PERSON VOTES IN AN ELECTION AFTER THE TRANSFER OF THE PERSON’S RECORD BUT BEFORE THE NOTICE IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION SHALL NOT BE CANCELLED OR MARKED INACTIVE.

(b) IF A NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION IS NOT RETURNED WITHIN TWENTY DAYS, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION AT THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND THE PERSON SHALL BE MARKED AS UNAFFILIATED.

(c) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION AND DECLINES TO BE REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED, INCLUDING IF THE PERSON RETURNS THE FORM AND BOTH DECLINES TO BE REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED AND ALSO AFFILIATES WITH A PARTY, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION OR PREREGISTRATION IS CANCELLED AND THE PERSON IS DEEMED TO HAVE NEVER REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED; EXCEPT THAT, IF THE PERSON HAS VOTED IN AN ELECTION, THE RETURN FORM IS OF NO EFFECT AND THE PERSON REMAINS REGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.

[“Deemed to have never registered” means the evidence of having been registered is deleted from the record somehow and the parties will not learn of the choice of party that was made available to the SOS? The “return form is of no effect” implies that a person who isn’t eligible but does vote in an election prior to the return of the form “declining” to register remains eligible to vote despite lack of eligibility? This seems wrong.]

(d) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION AND AFFILIATES WITH A PARTY, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND THE PERSON’S AFFILIATION SHALL BE MARKED EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE THE AFFILIATION INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED.

(e) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM WITHOUT MARKING EITHER THE OPTION TO DECLINE OR THE OPTION TO AFFILIATE WITH A PARTY, THE RETURNED FORM IS OF NO EFFECT. THE PERSON IS REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND SHALL BE MARKED AS UNAFFILIATED.

(7) INFORMATION RELATING TO THE RETURN OF A NOTICE FORM DECLINING TO BE REGISTERED OR PREREGISTERED SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS.

[“Information relating to” means what? Does this mean the form shall not be used for any purpose including the one for which it was intended? So the form remains a record (needed to prove why the voter isn’t registered) but cannot be used for that purpose? Surely this provision can be written in a more sensible way or left up to rules promulgation.]

(8) THIS SECTION DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE STATE FROM COMPLYING WITH ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE FEDERAL “NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT OF 1993”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 20501 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; THE FEDERAL “VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 10101 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; THE FEDERAL “HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 20901 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; OR ANY OTHER APPLICABLE FEDERAL LAWS.

SECTION 2. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-2-302, amend (6.8) and (8); and add (6.5)(c) as follows:

1-2-302. Maintenance of computerized statewide voter registration list – confidentiality. (6.5) (c) AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICAL TIME, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, SHALL ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS OF VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-2-504 (1)(a) AND (1)(b) TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED TO ENABLE THE TRANSFER AND VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION PURPOSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2-502.5.

(6.8) In accordance with subsection (6) SUBSECTIONS (6) AND (6.5) of this section, the secretary of state may forward any information obtained from the division of motor vehicles in the department of revenue OR VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-2-504 (1)(a) AND (1)(b) to the appropriate county clerk and recorder. If the information meets the minimum matching criteria as specified in sections 1-2-603 and 1-2-604, the clerk shall then update the elector’s voter registration record in the master list of registered electors.

(8) The secretary of state shall provide adequate technological security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the computerized statewide voter registration list. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL ALSO ESTABLISH ADEQUATE AND REASONABLE TECHNOLOGICAL SECURITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EXCHANGE OR TRANSFER OF DATA RELATED TO VOTER REGISTRATION BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY OR VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-2-504 (1)(a) AND (1)(b). BEFORE COMMENCING ANY DATA EXCHANGE OR TRANSFER REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE 2, BUT AND NO LATER THAN THE DATE SUCH EXCHANGE OR TRANSFER IS REQUIRED BY STATUTE TO BEGIN, THE STATE AGENCY OR VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCY SHALL ADHERE TO THE TECHNOLOGICAL SECURITY REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER THIS SECTION. The secretary of state, the department of revenue, the department of public health and environment, the department of corrections, and the clerk and recorders shall not sell, disclose, or otherwise release a social security number, a driver’s license or a state-issued identification number, or the unique identification number assigned by the secretary of state to the voter pursuant to section 1-2-204 (2.5) or electronic copies of signatures created, transferred, or maintained pursuant to this section or section 42-1-211, C.R.S., to any individual other than the elector who created such signature absent such elector’s consent; except that nothing in this subsection (8) prohibits the sale, disclosure, or release of an electronic copy of such signature for use by any other public entity in carrying out its functions, or the sale, disclosure, or release of a photocopied or microfilmed image of an elector’s signature.

[The “unique identification number assigned by the SOS” is the voter ID number that must be public information in order to allow verification of eligibility. This text is in current law but should be amended to remove this inclusion of voter ID number from the privacy sensitive items that precede it. Likewise the final phrase of this extremely long sentence obviously provides an absurd loophole that moots the value of the preceding phrases intended to protect the signature. The final “or the sale, disclosure, or release of a photocopied or microfilmed image of an elector’s signature” should be amended out of the statute. Also “any other public entity” is entitled to receive signatures for use in carrying out its functions. One wonders if this isn’t a bit too all encompassing.]

SECTION 3. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 1-2-502.5 as follows:

1-2-502.5. Transfer of voter registration information to secretary of state. (1)  SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING SHALL PROVIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ON A SCHEDULE ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, ELECTRONIC RECORDS CONTAINING THE FULL NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, RESIDENCE ADDRESS, DELIVERABLE MAILING ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM THE RESIDENCE ADDRESS, AND COUNTY OF RESIDENCE FOR EACH REGISTERED AND UNREGISTERED ELIGIBLE ELECTOR WHO APPLIES FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 25.5-4-103 (13).

(2) IF AVAILABLE, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING SHALL ALSO PROVIDE, FOR EACH ELIGIBLE ELECTOR, AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF THE ELECTOR’S SIGNATURE AND THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR’S VALID COLORADO DRIVER’S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER OR THE LAST FOUR DIGITS OF THE ELECTOR’S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.

[How does the Dept. of Health Care Policy determine if the elector is eligible?  This requires both accurate citizenship and residence and age information that this Dept. might not have or even want to have access to. Also this Section, unlike Section 1 for CDOR, requires transfer of all eligible electors’ information regardless of existing registration. This means the addresses collected when health services are applied for will when transferred to the SOS become registration changes for those existing registered voters. This means persons who are avoiding updating their address for whatever reason will have a reason not to apply for health services from the state. Or they will be surprised to find their registration has moved when they go to vote if they never saw the letter. Does the letter allow them to unregister or reject the changed address if they receive what amounts to a change of address letter? (new in version E,F comments)

See also related comments on similar text from Section 1 Paragraph 1. Why is last four digits of SSN included here? Is that a legal use of SSN and how does that substitute for a signature that will be needed for signature verification?]

(3) UPON RECEIVING THE ELECTRONIC RECORD FOR AN UNREGISTERED ELIGIBLE ELECTOR THAT INCLUDES ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION AND EITHER THE ELECTOR’S VALID COLORADO DRIVER’S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER OR THE LAST FOUR DIGITS OF THE ELECTOR’S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROVIDE THE INFORMATION TO THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE ELECTOR RESIDES. UPON RECEIPT OF A RECORD, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL DETERMINE IF THE RECORD IS COMPLETE FOR THE PURPOSES OF VOTER REGISTRATION. IF THE RECORD IS NOT COMPLETE, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL SEND TO THE PERSON’S ADDRESS OF RECORD MAILING ADDRESS, BY NONFORWARDABLE MAIL, NOTICE THAT THE PERSON HAS NOT BEEN REGISTERED TO VOTE AND STATING THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED TO REGISTER. IF THE PERSON PROVIDES THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED TO VOTE EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING. IF THE PERSON DOES NOT PROVIDE THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NECESSARY TO MAKE HIS OR HER APPLICATION COMPLETE AND ACCURATE WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE NOTIFICATION IS MAILED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION (3), THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED.

[ Rules could specify what constitutes “complete for the purposes of voter registration” and such rules could require a signature signed by pen on paper in front of an official perhaps with a one year grace period or a provision that the elector will receive a cure letter until the adequate first class signature has been provided in-person. ( this sentence new in version E comments) See also comments about the 24 months timeout from Section 1.]

(4) IF THE RECORD IS COMPLETE FOR PURPOSES OF VOTER REGISTRATION, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL SEND TO THE PERSON’S ADDRESS OF RECORD MAILING ADDRESS, BY NONFORWARDABLE MAIL, NOTICE THAT THE PERSON HAS BEEN REGISTERED TO VOTE AND A POSTAGE PAID PREADDRESSED RETURN FORM BY WHICH THE PERSON MAY:

(a) DECLINE TO BE REGISTERED AS AN ELECTOR; OR

(b) AFFILIATE WITH A POLITICAL PARTY; AND

(c) PROVIDE A SIGNATURE IF, AT THE TIME THE ELECTOR APPLIED FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, THE PERSON DID NOT USE A COLORADO DRIVER’S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND DID NOT PROVIDE AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF THEIR SIGNATURE.

[ Here the proposed law specifically allows a person who is about to be registered to “provide a signature” by mail – but not signed in front of an official. This will lead to reduced integrity of the resulting reference signature than would be the case with a signature signed in front of an official. Also the allowed alternative includes both a driver’s license (meaning tablet-signed low quality signature) or a provision of “an electronic copy of their signature” that appears to imply a low quality “electronic copy” rather than a “signature signed in pen on paper in front of an official.”]

(5) A NOTICE MAILED UNDER SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION MUST INCLUDE AN EXPLANATION, IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH, OF THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER TO VOTE, AND A STATEMENT THAT, IF THE PERSON IS NOT ELIGIBLE, THE PERSON SHOULD DECLINE TO REGISTER USING THE PREADDRESSED RETURN FORM.

[Same comments apply as for Section 1 paragraphs 4,5,6,7 for this and the following page below.]

(6) THE NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION MUST INCLUDE A STATEMENT THAT, IF A PERSON DECLINES TO REGISTER TO VOTE, THE FACT THAT THE PERSON HAS DECLINED TO REGISTER WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL BE USED ONLY FOR VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS PURPOSES, AND A STATEMENT THAT, IF THE PERSON REMAINS REGISTERED TO VOTE, THE OFFICE AT WHICH THE PERSON WAS REGISTERED WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL BE USED ONLY FOR VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS PURPOSES.

(7) (a) (I) IF A NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTIONS (3) AND (4) OF THIS SECTION IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE WITHIN TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER MAILS THE NOTICE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION IS CANCELLEDAND THE PERSON IS DEEMED TO HAVE NEVER REGISTERED. IF THE NOTICE IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE AFTER TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE COUNTY CLERK AND  RECORDER MAILS THE NOTICE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION IS MARKED INACTIVE.

(II) NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION (7)(a)(I) OF THIS SECTION, IF A PERSON VOTES IN AN ELECTION AFTER THE TRANSFER OF THE PERSON’S RECORD BUT BEFORE THE NOTICE IS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION SHALL NOT BE CANCELLED OR MARKED INACTIVE.

(b) IF A NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION IS NOT RETURNED WITHIN TWENTY DAYS, OR IF THE PERSON RETURNS THE FORM AND PROVIDES A SIGNATURE BUT DOES NOT AFFILIATE WITH A PARTY, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING AND THE PERSON SHALL BE MARKED AS UNAFFILIATED.

(c) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION AND DECLINES TO BE REGISTERED, INCLUDING IF THE PERSON RETURNS THE FORM AND BOTH DECLINES TO BE REGISTERED AND ALSO AFFILIATES WITH A PARTY OR PROVIDES A SIGNATURE FOR REGISTRATION, THE PERSON’S REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED AND THE PERSON IS DEEMED TO HAVE NEVER REGISTERED; EXCEPT THAT, IF THE PERSON HAS VOTED IN AN ELECTION, THE RETURNED FORM IS OF NO EFFECT AND THE PERSON REMAINS REGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING.

(d) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION AND AFFILIATES WITH A PARTY, THE PERSON IS REGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING AND THE PERSON’S AFFILIATION SHALL BE MARKED EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE THE AFFILIATION INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED.

(e) IF A PERSON RETURNS THE FORM WITHOUT SELECTING ANY OPTION, THE RETURNED FORM IS OF NO EFFECT. THE PERSON IS REGISTERED AS OF THE DATE OF THE PERSON’S APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE POLICY AND FINANCING AND SHALL BE MARKED AS UNAFFILIATED.

(8) INFORMATION RELATING TO THE RETURN OF A NOTICE FORM DECLINING TO BE REGISTERED SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS.

(9) THIS SECTION DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE STATE FROM COMPLYING WITH ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE FEDERAL “NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT OF 1993”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 20501 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; THE FEDERAL “VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 10101 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; THE FEDERAL “HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002”, 52 U.S.C. SEC. 20901 ET SEQ., AS AMENDED; OR ANY OTHER APPLICABLE FEDERAL LAWS.

SECTION 4. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 1-2-502.7 as follows:

1-2-502.7. Voter registration agencies – reports -transfer of records for voter registration. (1) EACH STATE AGENCY THAT OVERSEES ONE OR MORE OFFICES DESIGNATED AS VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES IN SECTION 1-2-504 (1)(a) AND (1)(b) SHALL ANNUALLY PROVIDE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE A LIST WITH EACH DESIGNATED OFFICE, THE TYPE OF SERVICES THE OFFICE PROVIDES,AND A DESIGNATED VOTER REGISTRATION CONTACT FOR THAT OFFICE.

(2) EACH OFFICE DESIGNATED UNDER SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION SHALL REPORT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE EACH MONTH THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO APPLIED FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OR WHO APPLIED TO PARTICIPATE IN STATE-FUNDED PROGRAMS, THE NUMBER OF VOTER REGISTRATION CHOICE FORMS THE OFFICE COLLECTED, AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO RECEIVED A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM.

(3) AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE TIME, THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CREATED IN SECTION 24-37.5-103 SHALL ASSESS WHICH VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-2-504 (1)(a) AND (1)(b), COLLECT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION FROM APPLICANTS FOR VOTER REGISTRATION PURPOSES, AND SHALL REPORT ITS FINDINGS TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE. UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE THAT A VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCY COLLECTS THE NECESSARY INFORMATION TO REGISTER AN ELIGIBLE ELECTOR, THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL ESTABLISH A SCHEDULE BY WHICH THE VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCY SHALL BEGIN PROVIDING ELECTRONIC RECORDS REGARDING ELIGIBLE ELECTORS TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE. THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND EACH COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL PROCESS ELECTRONIC RECORDS RECEIVED FROM VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES UNDER THIS SUBSECTION (3) SUBSTANTIALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2-502.5.

SECTION 5. In Colorado Revised Statutes, amend 1-2-511 as follows:

1-2-511. Prosecutions of violations. (1) Any person who believes a violation of this part 5 has occurred may file a written complaint no later than sixty days after the date of the violation with the secretary of state. If the secretary of state determines, after a hearing, that the violation has occurred, he or she shall so notify the attorney general, who may institute a civil action for relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, a restraining order, or any other appropriate order, in the district court. Upon a proper showing that such person has engaged or is about to engage in any prohibited acts or practices, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without bond by the court. If, within one hundred twenty days after a complaint is filed with the secretary of state, no civil action for relief is instituted by the attorney general, the complainant shall have a private right of action based on an alleged violation of this part 5 and may institute a civil action in district court for any appropriate remedy. Any such action shall be filed within one year from the date of the alleged violation.

(2) UNLESS A PERSON INTENTIONALLY TAKES VOLUNTARY ACTION TO REGISTER TO VOTE KNOWING THAT HE OR SHE IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER, THE TRANSFER OF THE PERSON’S ELECTRONIC RECORD BY A VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2-213.3 OR 1-2-502.5 DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE COMPLETION OF A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM BY THAT PERSON. IF SUCH A REGISTRATION IS PROCESSED BY THE STATE, IT IS PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE AND THE PERSON IS NOT SUBJECT TO ANY PENALTY UNDER THIS CODE.

[ What does “voter registration agency” mean at this point? CRS 1-2-504(1)(a) and (1)(b) is specifically referred to earlier in this bill (but not here). The two definitions listed in Section 2 paragraph (8)) contain:“(a)All offices that provide public assistance;(b) All offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities”? Does “voter registration agency” include all possible sources of voter registration data that might be transferred to the SOS per Section 2? Why “electronic” record? Can a non electronic record such as a paper copy of a paper registration form be transferred? Does this make it legal for the state to register ineligible electors? This also appears to indemnify “the person” (not sufficiently defined) against prosecution. That is beneficial but is it adequate to protect “the person” from e.g. harassment? (some updates in version E comments]

SECTION 6. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-7.5-104.5, add (2)(b)(I.5) as follows: 1-7.5-104.5. Ballots and supplies for mail voting. (2) (b)  The approved form must include, at a minimum:

(I.5) INSTRUCTIONS TO PROVIDE A SIGNATURE FOR VERIFICATION WITH THE BALLOT FOR FIRST-TIME ELECTORS WHO DO NOT HAVE A SIGNATURE STORED IN THE STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM;

[This may be adequate for maintenance of reference signature integrity if the instructions call for signing with pen on paper in front of an official.]

SECTION 7. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-7.5-107.3, add

(1.5) and (7) as follows:

1-7.5-107.3. Verification of signatures -rules. (1.5) (a) IF AN ELIGIBLE ELECTOR RETURNS A BALLOT BUT DOES NOT HAVE A SIGNATURE STORED IN THE STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM, THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL, WITHIN THREE DAYS AFTER THE MISSING SIGNATURE IS CONFIRMED, BUT IN NO EVENT LATER THAN TWO DAYS AFTER ELECTION DAY, SEND TO THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR AT THE ADDRESS INDICATED IN THE REGISTRATION RECORDS AND TO THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR’S ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS IF AVAILABLE A LETTER EXPLAINING THE NEED FOR A SIGNATURE FOR VERIFICATION PURPOSES AND A FORM WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR TO:

(I) CONFIRM THAT THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR RETURNED A BALLOT TO THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER;

(II) PROVIDE A COPY OF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR’S IDENTIFICATION AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-1-104 (19.5); AND

(III) PROVIDE A SIGNATURE FOR VERIFICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION.

[Here there is a requirement for provision of a “signature” that presumably isn’t an “electronic signature” and that is fortunate. “For verification” isn’t clear- apparently it is intended to mean for use in future verification. If so, and if the signature to be collected is the first to be collected for that elector it should be of highest quality – meaning pen on paper and of authenticity established by a process involving a face to face interaction with an official. Otherwise this provision allows for easy spoofing of an elector. Note that “elector’s identification” includes a utility bill that does not contain any signature. Thus the reference signature to be obtained will have low credibility – no requirement for it to be traced back to a face to face interaction with an official of any type.]

(b) IF THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER RECEIVES THE FORM WITHIN EIGHT DAYS AFTER ELECTION DAY CONFIRMING THAT THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR RETURNED A BALLOT TO THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER AND ENCLOSING A COPY OF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR’S IDENTIFICATION AS DEFINED IN SECTION 1-1-104 (19.5), AND IF THE BALLOT IS OTHERWISE VALID, THE BALLOT SHALL BE COUNTED. IF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR RETURNS THE FORM INDICATING THAT THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR DID NOT RETURN A BALLOT TO THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER, OR IF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTOR DOES NOT RETURN THE FORM WITHIN EIGHT DAYS AFTER ELECTION DAY OR DOES NOT ENCLOSE IDENTIFICATION, THE SELF-AFFIRMATION ON THE RETURN ENVELOPE SHALL BE CATEGORIZED AS INCORRECT AND THE BALLOT SHALL NOT BE COUNTED.

[This is the heart of Colorado’s protection of election accuracy through eligibility determination. Half of the credibility of each outcome in the election is depending on this provision. The other half comes from tabulation. We have the risk limiting tabulation audit to check the evidence of marks on ballot sheets to establish accuracy of tabulation, but we have only this provision to defend the equally susceptible process of eligibility determination.

The signature verification for most Colorado voters starts with software comparison of a single reference signature – the most recent one found in SCORE – to what is found on the return envelope. This above paragraph in statute is expected to protect the accuracy of the election for 95% of all votes. It deserves an update at least because we depend on it for such a high percentage of all votes.

The statement on the cure letter that “I returned a voted ballot” is simply insufficient to establish that the actual paper ballot in the envelope with the questioned signature on it was signed by the curing person and that person has the name that is on the envelope. This attestation in the cure letter should be improved upon. The inclusion of an election satisfactory ID does not substantially add to the credibility of the statement. There is no requirement to check the signature on the ID to look for a match, and in fact the ID may contain no signature. Moreover, the “ballot” is not a single unit from an eligibility point of view. It likely contains multiple contests in assorted districts, each one of which presents an eligibility issue based on residence address being attested to. That is why the statute inadequately says “ballot is otherwise valid” but what it should say is “for each contest on the ballot for which it has been determined the elector is eligible to vote, the vote on the contest shall be counted”. ]

(c) AN ORIGINAL RETURN ENVELOPE CONTAINING A VOTED BALLOT THAT IS NOT COUNTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION (1.5)(b) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE STORED UNDER SEAL AS AN ELECTION RECORD IN THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER IN A SECURE LOCATION SEPARATE FROM VALID RETURN ENVELOPES AND MAY BE REMOVED ONLY UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR BY ORDER OF A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION.

[This draconian provision prevents the canvass board from examining the envelopes that have been removed from the election. It prevents that one semi-independent authority outside of a court of law from performing verification. Likewise it probably will prevent credentialed watchers from accessing this important election eligibility evidence. This level of isolation is not needed – only enough to prevent the accidental opening and tabulation of ballot sheets returned by totally ineligible electors. The language could have made it clear that only envelopes containing contests for which all are ineligible for the elector would be isolated, but it doesn’t even go this far to be correct. This statutory provision is overreaching and dangerously easy to misinterpret.]

(7) EACH COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER SHALL, AS SOON AS PRACTICAL, DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT OPTIONS FOR ELECTORS TO ELECTRONICALLY PROVIDE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION FOR SIGNATURE VERIFICATION.

[This provision (also found in HB 19-1278) is frightening. First, the county clerk and recorders cannot and should not be expected to design and build this crucial integrity component separately and without substantial assistance from state and other expert resources. Secondly, “electors to electronically provide necessary documentation” suggests that electronic signatures created by the electors might be deemed adequate (as in tablet signed signatures or who knows what the elector might independently be able to provide remotely). Electronically captured signatures (e.g. tablets)  are already shown to be inadequate and of enough concern by officials that some counties are asking voters who have only signed on a tablet to also return a pen on paper voter registration form.]

SECTION 8. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-30-2108, repeal
(4) as follows:

24-30-2108. Address use by state or local government agencies. (4) A program participant who completes an application to register to vote at a driver’s license examination facility while receiving a driver’s license or an identification card pursuant to section 1-2-213, C.R.S., shall be required to have the participant’s actual address on the driver’s license or identification card.

SECTION 9.  In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-2-205, amend as it will become effective July 1, 2019, (2); and add (5) as follows:

1-2-205. Self-affirmation made by elector. (2) Each elector making application for registration or preregistration shall make the following self-affirmation: “I, …., affirm that I am a citizen of the United States; I have been a resident of the state of Colorado for at least twenty-two days immediately prior to BEFORE an election in which I intend to vote IN; and I am at least sixteen years old and understand that I must be eighteen years old to be eligible to vote. I further affirm that my present address as stated herein THE RESIDENCE ADDRESS I PROVIDED is my sole legal place of residence. that I claim no other place as my legal residence, and that I understand that I am committing a felony if I knowingly give false information regarding my place of present residence. I certify under penalty of perjury that I meet the registration or preregistration qualifications of this state; that the information I have provided on this application is true to the best of my knowledge and belief; and that I have not, nor will I, cast more than one ballot in any election.

(5) THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PERSON REGISTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2-213.3 OR 1-2-502.5.

[ This is the section of statute that contains the
integrity-maintaining signature requirement for the registration record:


“(4)  The elector shall sign the registration record as evidence of the affirmation made by the elector.”

It is the above statement that no longer applies to a voter registered automatically.The new provisions do away with signature requirements that were a foundation of eligibility determination for many decades.]

SECTION 10. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-2-509, add (4) as follows:

1-2-509. Reviewing voter registration applications ­notification. (4) THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO VOTER REGISTRATIONS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO SECTION 1-2-213, 1-2-213.3, OR 1-2-502.5.

[This text moots the original language that micromanages the actions to be taken upon receipt of paper voter registration forms in various cases, from which the micromanagement of 1-2-213.3, OR 1-2-502.5 is taken. It makes sense to make this replacement, but the structure of the original and the replacement is probably too specific for statute and belongs in rule.]

SECTION 11. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 1-7.5-107, amend (3)(b.5)(I) as follows:

1-7.5-107. Procedures for conducting mail ballot election ­primary elections -first-time voters casting a mail ballot after having registered by mail to vote -in-person request for ballot -repeal.

(3) (b.5) (I) (A) The return envelope shall MUST have printed on it a self-affirmation substantially in the following form: I state under penalty of perjury that I am an eligible elector; that my signature and name are as shown on this envelope; that I have not and will not cast any vote in this election except by the enclosed ballot; and that my ballot is enclosed in accord with the provisions of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”. …………………………….. …………………………….. Date Signature of voter

(B) THE RETURN ENVELOPE MUST HAVE PRINTED BELOW THE SIGNATURE LINE THE AFFIRMATION REQUIRED BY SECTION 1-2-205 (2).

[Here is the required text from 1-2-205(2) as of after July 1 2019:

Each elector making application for registration or preregistration shall make the following self-affirmation: “I, …., affirm that I am a citizen of the United States; I have been a resident of the state of Colorado for at least twenty-two days immediately prior to an election in which I intend to vote; and I am at least sixteen years old and understand that I must be eighteen years old to be eligible to vote. I further affirm that my present address as stated herein is my sole legal place of residence, that I claim no other place as my legal residence, and that I understand that I am committing a felony if I knowingly give false information regarding my place of present residence. I certify under penalty of perjury that I meet the registration or preregistration qualifications of this state; that the information I have provided on this application is true to the best of my knowledge and belief; and that I have not, nor will I, cast more than one ballot in any election.”

[We see that instead of having this much needed affirmation text on the registration form, now (incredibly) it is to go on the return envelope. It is easy to see that this will be in very fine print if it is to fit on the envelope along with the myriad of other texts, bar codes etc that must go there. Note the reference to “application” that will throw some voters into a loop. The credibility of this attestation rests on the actual voter doing the signing – but the signature verification cannot confirm this with primary evidence. I would be more inclined to see this type of attestation on the cure letter from which it is conspicuously absent. But it can’t be in the letter that is used to “decline” registration, and that is probably why it is being squished onto the envelope. Note also the new long text from the application is sitting in parallel with the shorter existing text now required on the envelope. It appears that both are required although they are mutually somewhat redundant. Please check if this was intended. (appended for version E comments)]

SECTION 12. Act subject to petition -effective date. This act takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly(August 2, 2019, if adjournment sine die is on May 3, 2019); except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2020 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.

Sections 1, 6, and 7 of this act take effect July 1, 2020, and the remainder of this act takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-dayperiod after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 2, 2019, if adjournment sine die is on May 3, 2019); except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2020 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.