• July 20th, 2024
  • Saturday, 05:39:11 AM

Vote Without Fear Act Passes Committee


Photo: TCF/The Weekly Issue/El Semanario The Vote Without Fear Act prohibits a person from openly carrying a firearm within 100 feet of any drop box, voting center, or central count facility while an election or any related ongoing election administration activity is in progress.

 

 

The Vote Without Fear Act (HB22-1086), a bill to ensure Coloradans can continue to cast a ballot without fear of intimation, passed the State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee by a vote of 7 to 4 and will now go to the House floor for 2nd reading. The Vote Without Fear Act prohibits a person from openly carrying a firearm within 100 feet of any drop box, voting center, or central count facility while an election or any related ongoing election administration activity is in progress.

 

“The Vote Without Fear Act will safeguard Coloradans’ right to cast a ballot without intimidation or interference,” said Secretary Griswold. “Every Colorado voter, regardless of their zip code, political affiliation, or race, should feel confident in casting their ballot. I am proud of this important legislation and grateful to Representatives Bacon and Sullivan and Senators Fields and Jaquez Lewis for their work to defend voters’ rights.”

 

“Every voter should be able to cast their ballot without fear, and no one should be able to use a firearm to try to intimidate voters and election officials,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “Firearms being used to intimidate voters, especially voters of color, is nothing new in this country, but we are seeing alarming incidents that cannot continue. The Vote Without Fear Act will help protect against armed intimidation when people go to vote or if they are one of the tireless public servants who oversee our elections.”

 

“The Vote Without Fear Act protects our democracy and our fundamental right to vote by prohibiting armed intimidation at voting locations,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “No one should be made to feel afraid when they vote, but that’s exactly what we see happening when armed individuals show up at polling places. This is a commonsense bill to protect access to the ballot and help ensure voters can vote without fear.”

 

“The sacred right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, and it’s imperative that Coloradans can participate in our democracy without fear,” said Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora. “We must ensure that voters who wish to make their voice heard at the ballot box feel safe to do so in Colorado, and this common-sense bill will implement critical protections to keep our polling places safe and defend voting rights throughout our state.”

 

“Participating in democracy should never be a scary experience. Every voter deserves to feel safe when exercising their sacred right to vote,” said Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Boulder. “I’m proud to support legislation that further strengthens our elections by ensuring Coloradans can make their voices heard without fear of intimidation.”

 

“No one should be made to feel afraid when they vote, but that’s exactly what we see happening when armed individuals show up at polling places. This is a commonsense bill to protect access to the ballot and help ensure voters can vote without fear.”
Rep. Tom Sullivan

 

This bill will strengthen pre-existing voter intimidation laws and put common-sense measures in place to ensure every voter can cast a ballot at a drop box or Voter Service and Polling Center without fear. Many states already have similar prohibitions in state law.

 

Across the nation in 2021 at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting, and in 2022 over 150 bills to strip Americans of their right to vote will be considered. In contrast, the Vote Without Fear Act would continue to uphold Coloradan’s constitutional right to vote.

 

A summary of the bill can be found here and the full text of the bill can be found here.

 

More information on Secretary Griswold’s legislative priorities for the 2022 Colorado Legislative Session can be found here.

 

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