Updates from Executive Order 144 in red.

Mail insecurity is a huge issue

When 75% of Colorado’s votes and 47% of Washington’s votes are received through secure unstaffed ballot drop boxes, not having these will suppress voter turnout.

Provide secure Ballot Drop Boxes

This was a big one and we got some, but not nearly enough. These should be ubiquitous around the state. For now, the EO requires “To the extent possible, each county shall procure at least 5 secure ballot drop boxes and place them in locations that are readily accessible to the registered voters within the county. The security of the ballot drop boxes and schedule of ballot pickup shall conform with standards set forth by the Secretary of State.”

  1. Increases reach to voters
  2. Builds confidence and provides peace of mind
  3. Tamper-proof
  4. Mitigates against delays at USPS to handle a higher volume from package delivery and under-staffing issues due to coronavirus.
  5. Can be located in existing locations where there are cameras.
  6. Strategically placed to reach as many voters in the county such as (but not limited to) the County Clerk’s Office, Board of Elections, Town Hall, outside the main USPS storefronts, Libraries, Grocery Stores, and local businesses.
  7. Can reach communities that are vulnerable or under-represented and placed at community centers and senior living homes.

Recommended Legislation

The Secretary of State shall investigate and pay for secure unstaffed ballot boxes that will provide voters with the option to drop their mail-in ballots. Authorized ballot drop locations can be staffed or unstaffed with the exception where there is a Bearer designated by the voter, who may only deliver the voter’s ballot to staffed ballot drop locations as required by 19:63-16.

(a) Drop-off locations shall be determined by the county elections official. In determining locations, the elections official shall, at a minimum, consider concentrations of population, geographic areas, voter convenience, proximity to public transportation, community-based locations, and security.

  • (b) Staffed drop-off locations:
    • (1) is a facility having met the requirements of 19:8-2 and ADA compliant per 19:8-3.3
    • (2) may include, but are not limited to, city offices, public libraries, county offices, local businesses, and offices of community organizations. 
    • (3) must be open and staffed during Extended Voting Days and until 8pm on Election Day
  • (c) Unstaffed drop boxes:
    • (1) There shall be one drop box in each city, town, and Census-Designated Place (CDP) with a post office and at least one box at outside of every municipal clerk’s office, board of elections office, town hall, firehouse, or USPS retail location, or other safe locations that have existing or can install security cameras.
    • (2) At the request of a federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation in the county, the county board of elections must establish at least one ballot drop box on the Indian reservation on a site selected by the tribe that is accessible to the county board of elections by a public road;
    • (3) A federally recognized Indian tribe may designate at least one building as a ballot pickup and collection location at no cost to the tribe. The designated building must be accessible to the county board of elections by a public road. The county board of elections of the county in which the building is located must collect ballots from that location in compliance with the procedures in this section.

Example of existing legislation on secure ballot drop boxes (California)

Example of secure ballot drop boxes: