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President's Page by Carrie Frank

I have been voting for more years than I care to count. It is a right I hold in high regard which allows me to take a stand and have a voice. I do not always like the outcome, but I always value the process. Whether I needed to stand in line to cast a ballot in person, or now when I can review my ballot over a cup of coffee, I always knew the importance of voting.

Voting in November has been a long tradition in America. Americans first began the custom of weekday voting in 1845, when Congress passed a federal law designating the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day. Before then, states were allowed to hold elections any time they pleased within a 34-day period before the first Wednesday in December, but this system had a few crucial flaws. Knowing the early voting results could affect turnout and sway opinion in states that held late elections, and those same last-minute voters could potentially decide the outcome of the entire election. Faced with these issues, Congress created the current Election Day in the hope of streamlining the voting process (citation here).

In Colorado, all registered voters have been receiving ballots by mail since 2013 (citation here). This system worked seamlessly through the pandemic. In addition to mail in ballots, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act (citation here) allowed eligible citizens to register to vote up to and on Election Day. It also required the establishment of voter service and polling centers, where voters could update their registration information and cast ballots in person. Colorado is considered the “gold standard” for election systems, said Secretary of State Jena Griswold (citation here). When I wanted more information about a particular amendment or proposition, all I needed to do was to go to my computer and search and I could obtain many, varied positions and arguments pro and con. Colorado has done a great job in making voting as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. Colorado will, no doubt, continue to evolve so that all eligible Coloradoans can vote.

It is disheartening to hear about stories on a daily basis where people are yelling about fraud where there is none; to hear about armed ballot box “watchers” in tactical gear in Arizona (citation here) and to learn about the general concern of voter intimidation among American voters (citation here). As attorneys, we should all be concerned about the attack on the basis of our democracy; the right to vote. We should encourage everyone to vote so that the apathy of “my vote doesn’t matter” or “my vote won’t be counted” does not become prevalent. We should talk about the validity and safety of voting so that whomever the elected candidate is, the other side cannot simply deny it.

Whether you agree with my politics or not, no matter whom you vote for, or how you feel about the amendments and propositions on this year’s ballot, please make your voice heard. VOTE!



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