Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has announced modifications to temporary elections procedures put in place during the pandemic, specifically to provisions regarding ballot transportation and closure of voter service centers.
The original pandemic guidelines, which contained rules to protect poll worker health and safety, required county clerks to request approval from Griswold’s office if they decided to close a voter service and polling site due to suspicion of COVID-19 contamination. However, under the revisions, clerks must merely provide notification of the closure as quickly as possible to the state.
Griswold also struck a prior rule which mandated that judges transporting ballots must “travel in separate vehicles but stay within sight of each other,” while also wearing personal protective equipment if interacting with others.
In March, Gov. Jared Polis signed executive orders directing Griswold to formulate rules that would align voting procedures with public health guidelines for the June primary election. Since the pandemic called into question safeguards for voters, she has emerged as a national voice supporting vote-by-mail elections. In the November 2019 election, 98.7% of Colorado voters cast ballots by mail, as did 97.5% in the March presidential primary.
On Thursday, Griswold criticized President Donald Trump on Twitter for threatening to withhold federal funding to states that send out mail ballots, after he cited a “great Voter Fraud scenario” without any corroborating evidence.
“President @realDonaldTrump told us he opposes mail ballots because he thinks republicans will lose their seats,” Griswold tweeted. “Threatening to withhold federal funding to key swing states over use of mail ballots (which he thinks will politically harm him) is an abuse of power.”