Monday, April 1, 2019

Mesa County Opposes House Bill 19-1278—Uniform Election Code of 1992

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder sent a letter to the Colorado House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee in strong opposition to House Bill 1278, concerning modifications to miscellaneous provisions of the "Uniform Election Code of 1992." 

The bill was introduced last week and will be heard in the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee on Tuesday, April 2, at 1:30 p.m.

The letter states: "Passage of HB19-1278 will have massive unfunded fiscal impacts on Mesa County. This bill modifies the formulas in the statute that mandate how many Voter Service and Polling Centers (VSPCs) and 24-hour drop boxes must be provided during an election, expanding hours of operation closer to the election and requiring that they be open on Sunday before the election. 

Establishing new VSPCs includes a myriad of unfunded mandates, such as the rental cost for space, purchasing additional laptops, scanners and voting machines and paying for security and additional election judges. The County Clerks Association estimates that this bill will cost all the counties approximately $5 million to implement, without any state financial assistance.  

Colorado is second in the nation in voter turnout and fourth in the nation for lowest wait times.  Only a small handful of counties had wait times on election day that were greater than an hour – this bill goes way too far and puts expensive mandates on numerous counties in an attempt to address election day wait times in just a few urban counties.

Mesa County strongly urges this committee vote “no” on HB19-1278."

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