Attention 80,000 Mail Ballot Voters: “Permanent Isn’t Permanent”

A coalition of nonprofit organizations including the Interfaith Alliance, Vote Vets Foundation, and the League of Women Voters sent out a press release this morning warning of some 80,000 Colorado voters who have opted for “permanent” vote by mail status, but are now “inactive failed to vote” in the voter registry simply for not voting in the 2010 elections.

Meaning the word “permanent” no longer applies to them.

As a result, thousands of Coloradans who are likely expecting a mail ballot won’t be getting one:

Mail ballots are increasingly popular, with more than 4 in 10 Colorado voters signed up to receive their ballots by mail.  However, Colorado is the only state that declares a voter “inactive” after missing only one election. When a voter is categorized as “inactive,” they are also removed from the “permanent” vote by mail list.

Inactive voters are still eligible to vote and can do so by requesting a ballot or voting in person.

Almost 80,000 Colorado voters who signed up for “permanent vote by mail” are now inactive because they did not vote in the 2010 election. They may be expecting a ballot, but it is not coming. [Pols emphasis]

“Permanent isn’t really permanent. No one sends you a card saying you’re off the permanent vote by mail list. Many veterans and military personnel who were on active duty in 2010 didn’t get the chance to vote. They may be expecting a ballot that will never arrive,” said Garett Reppenhagen of Vets Voice Foundation.

Full release text follows.

The only thing we can add to the rightful concern expressed by these nonprofits is to remind our readers of Senate Bill 12-109–legislation that would have resolved the status of so-called “inactive failed to vote” voters from 2010 by reactivating them, and would have put in place fairer procedures for managing the voter rolls than the present, hotly controversial practice of “inactivating” voters after missing only a single election.

Everybody remembers who killed that bill, right?

The same guy who hopes you didn’t check your voter status on your phone, right?

One of those “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” moments, folks.

Waiting for a Ballot to Arrive? Don’t Count on It!

Check Your Status at www.govotecolorado.com

A group of Colorado nonprofit organizations today launched a campaign to remind Colorado voters that mail ballots do not automatically arrive in their mailboxes in a presidential election.

The Interfaith Alliance, League of Women Voters, CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization) and Vets Voice Foundation are teaming up to make sure eligible voters don’t assume there’s a ballot in the mail with their name on it.

“The best advice is to check your registration status. So many elections are conducted through the mail now, but not presidential elections. It’s easy to check if you’re signed up to get a mail ballot at www.govotecolorado.com or at your county clerk’s office,” said Cath Perrone, President of the Colorado League of Women Voters.

“Election Day is the day that everyone’s voice counts equally. Your right to vote is too important – make sure your voice is heard. Check your registration now,” said Olivia Mendoza, executive director of CLLARO.  

Mail ballots are increasingly popular, with more than 4 in 10 Colorado voters signed up to receive their ballots by mail.  However, Colorado is the only state that declares a voter “inactive” after missing only one election. When a voter is categorized as “inactive,” they are also removed from the “permanent” vote by mail list.

Inactive voters are still eligible to vote and can do so by requesting a ballot or voting in person.

Almost 80,000 Colorado voters who signed up for “permanent vote by mail” are now inactive because they did not vote in the 2010 election. They may be expecting a ballot, but it is not coming.

“Permanent isn’t really permanent. No one sends you a card saying you’re off the permanent vote by mail list. Many veterans and military personnel who were on active duty in 2010 didn’t get the chance to vote. They may be expecting a ballot that will never arrive,” said Garett Reppenhagen of Vets Voice Foundation.

“There is immense pride in casting a ballot, especially in a presidential election. No citizen should miss that opportunity to have an impact on our country’s future,” said Jeremy Shaver, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance.

Voters can check their registration status at www.govotecolorado.com, or they can call their county clerk’s office.

Key Dates:

OCTOBER 9

Last day for new voters to register

OCTOBER 15

First day ballots can be mailed

OCTOBER 22

Early voting begins at local vote centers

OCTOBER 30

Last day to request a mail ballot be sent to you

NOVEMBER 2

Last day to request a mail ballot in person

NOVEMBER 6

Election Day

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. caroman says:

    What part of “permanent”, as in “permanent mail ballot” doesn’t Scott Gessler get?  While he’s off chasing phantom voter fraud, he has decided not to send mail ballots to those who did not vote in the 2010 election even though they registered for a “permanent mail ballot”.  Even today, the voter registration form does not indicate that you will not get your “permanent” mail ballot if you happen to miss voting in an election.  

    Why does he get away with this?  Is there no legal recourse?

    (I’v been posting about this for weeks, including this double posting from an earlier diary today.  Not to mention re-registering voters during canvassing.)

  2. Fidel's dirt nap says:

    has anybody received their ballots in the mail yet, or is it still to early ?

  3. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Inactive voters are still eligible to vote and can do so by requesting a ballot or voting in person.

    Nobody will be denied the right to vote. Every one of those inactive voters can vote. Mail ballots are an inherent security flaw and must be controlled. If you want to keep being mailed ballots, keep sending them back.

    Why is that so hard?

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Poor asshole likely-Dem voters. Why won’t they just get over all the little technical glitches that only affect them? It’s only death by a thousand paper cuts.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        But it’s not my fault Democrats were too demoralized by Obama to vote in 2010. Rules are rules.

        • AristotleAristotle says:

          But thanks for displaying your moral bankruptcy as only a diversion like that can demonstrate.

          Read the diary again.

          • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

            How long should ballots be mailed to an address, and not used, before they are stopped?

            Think about your answer in relation to your opinion on voter ID. See the HUGE problem?

            People are not as stupid as you take them for, Ari.

            • Fidel's dirt nap says:

              if you could just admit there is a real world out there. Like in, we got nothing, so were resorting to voter suppression.

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              How about three?

              I fail to see the relevance this has to voter ID. Voter ID is not needed because the kind of fraud that’s supposed to prevent is so uncommon as to be nonexistent. And no, successful fraud is NOT undetectable, as you comically assert downthread.

              (Let’s see if you have any kind of response to this.)

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              let’s define “election cycle” as US Congressional elections. Every two years.

              So three election cycles is six years.

            • droll says:

              Bad address ballots are flagged differently and signatures are verified by the clerk’s office, so it’s not really something the next resident can just decide to do for you. Forgetting that you contradicting yourself in suggesting that this is a fraud issue while calling the ballots “not used” anyway. You’re welcome for that.

              If you don’t have faith in your local clerk, take it up with them.

              caroman has it right and it’s the only answer. You’ve yet to debate against it. Why is that?

        • caroman says:

          Where does the registration form notify the registrants that they won’t receive the “permanent” mail ballot if they miss one election?

          • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

            Where do the rules say a permanent mail ballot voter gets a ballot mailed in perpetuity? I doubt that’s what anyone would want. It’s an invitation to fraud, which is of course why Democrats are so curiously reluctant to solve the problem.

            • ClubTwitty says:

              then STFU.  

              • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

                There is no evidence. That’s the point. Do you wait until after your home is broken into to buy a lock for your door? Obtuse.

                • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                  your arguments suck, and you make me fucking sick.

                • ClubTwitty says:

                  and yet have NO EVIDENCE of such.  Obtuse indeed.  

                  I though Republicans hated unneeded regulations…oh wait, that’s regulations against massive polluting or greed corporations., you all love to regulate people.  In the bedroom, at the ballot box.

                  I have a lock on my door because…wait for it.. there ARE burglaries in Colorado.

                  What I haven’t done is wrap my house in aluminum foil to block the mind control rays, because I have yet to evidence of such.

                  But go ahead.  I’m guessing the Highlands Ranch HOA won’t be psyched.  

            • caroman says:

              The rules say they will receive a permanent mail ballot. Period.  If the person has moved, then the ballot will be returned as undeliverable.  That’s not an invitation to fraud, unless you have something against mail ballots.  

              Oh, that’s right, you’re for making it difficult to vote.  Why do you hate American democracy?

        • ClubTwitty says:

          Have you ever seen such an inept major party campaign for president in your life…or at least in four years?  

        • parsingreality says:

          You veel follow zee rulez!  Work is freedom!  Heil Hitler!

          (Thus inserting Godwin’s law into the conversation.)

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Its being perpetuated across the country by REPUBLICAN election officials.  It is a concerted effort.  It is despicable.  Every American should be outraged.  I think its treasonous.  

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      You mean like the multiple controls that already exist for voters who happened to cast a ballot in 2010?

      We’ll see how willing Republicans are to work something out for the next election after a bunch of dejected conservatives sit this one out.

    • The same period of time that the state requires before removing voters from the rolls altogether…

      A voter will be removed from the registration list if the voter:
      • dies
      • is convicted of a felony
      • confirms in writing a change of address outside of the county
      • remains in inactive status through two general elections (does not vote, apply for a mail ballot, or update the voter’s registration)

      (IIRC, your name isn’t actually removed until after the third election that you miss due to some timing thing. It really should be three cycles – there isn’t much harm in leaving someone on the rolls an extra two years if they’re not voting; too much longer than that and the rolls become too inaccurate, though.)

  4. rw6berry says:

    Maybe if the Federal Elections Commission gets enough complaints, they will do something. What the Republican party is doing nationwide to suppress voting is reaching the point of criminal behavior.

    How to file a complaint can be found on the following website:

    http://www.fec.gov/pages/broch

  5. Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

    We have been canvassing inactive voters and persuading them to reactivate their permanent vote-by-mail status.  It is actually easier than registering.  You need your Colorado Driver’s License number.

    (1) Go to http://www.govotecolorado.com

    (2) Under “My Registration”, click “View, change, or activate my registration, or request a mail-in ballot.”

    (3) Fill out your biographical info and click “Search.”

    (4) Check your ballot status.  If it is inactive, click “Click here to change your address, party affiliation or permanent mail-in ballot status.”

    (5) Enter your ID number and press submit.

    (6) Change whatever needs changing, including clicking “Yes, I want to be a permanent mail-in voter and automatically receive a mail-in ballot for all applicable elections” and submit.

    In fact, I think everyone ought to check their registration to make sure everything is correct.

  6. NoCo_Indy says:

    I keep getting corporate proxy vote statements sent to me in the mail even though, I have to admit, I’m not the most observant voter in them. [cough]. I’m just glad knowing that I won’t lose my rights for the next corporate election that might actually matter. Why can’t the government be more like business?

  7. ClubTwitty says:

    Actual evidence of malfeasance in the other states…

    Link (but no quote…)

    http://www.denverpost.com/nati…  

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