How Colorado leads the way in secure mail-in voting
Colorado and Utah are two of eight states nationwide that use all mail-in voting in their elections. And all states offer some form of mail-in ballots. But the process has come under scrutiny since former President Donald Trump accused the system of being rife with fraud.
The Big Lie has been debunked by election officials and is the subject of a new documentary examining how Colorado has led the way to secure voting by mail.
“I never expected to have to be fact-checking the White House.”
That’s Amber McReynolds speaking in a new documentary Democracy Vs The Big Lie, The Truth Behind Mail In Voting. McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts voting by mail something she says dates back to the Civil War.
“Abraham Lincoln wanted to ensure that soldiers could vote when they were serving away from their homes during the election and so that’s really how mail in voting started in this country.”
Amber McReynolds is the former Director of elections for the City and County of Denver and while there, she helped shape Colorado’s all mail in voting strategy. She then went on to lead to the National Vote at Home Institute. McReynolds is now working on mail-in voting at a federal level, as one of 9 governors, and the only female governor, of the US Postal Service.
“We also were drug in to the Big Lie, and a lot of the mis and dis-info about mail in voting was also targeting the postal service in 2020. And so our infrastructure is very important in addressing those issues and moving forward and educating the public on the process and how we process mail through the postal service, utilize things like ballot tracking and then also something that I think the public doesn’t always understand is we have our own inspector General.
So we have an Inspector General that will look in to every single allegation regarding any of these issues in fact they put up various reports recently that demonstrated some of the lies that were being spread about mail in voting were in fact false and they proved that through their investigations. We also have an inspection service that takes very seriously any crimes involving the mail and investigates those.”
McReynolds says mail-in voting is secure on several levels. One being the accuracy of the voter rolls.
“And states that have had mail in voting in an expanded use for a long time actually have the cleanest voter files because they are regularly interacting with voters, whether that be through the national change of address data base that the postal service offers or by this interaction through the mail stream that happens more frequently in states that use mail in ballots more often.”
Another measure of security originated in the Denver elections office twelve years ago.
“We created a technology called ballot tracking and it was the first in the world, not only the first in the nation, but the first in the world, to track a ballot through the entire process, through the mail stream, outbound, in bound and then all the way through the verification steps. And that was created in Denver in 2010, rolled out and many states have now adopted that technology and it provides transparency and security of the mail in ballot process.”
McReynolds is featured in a new documentary Democracy Vs The Big Lie, the Truth Behind Mail in Voting that was made with support from the Colorado Film Commission.