DENVER – Lawmakers killed a proposal Wednesday to let the state’s voters decide whether they should have to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in future elections.
House Bill 1111, sponsored by Reps. Libby Szabo (R-Arvada) and Ken Summers (R-Lakewood) and Sen. Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield) would have sent the much-debated photo ID question to the voters in November.
Mitchell told the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee that requiring a photo ID when voting would not encumber those who are exercising their right to vote and would safeguard the integrity of elections.
“Unlike a crime against your property, crimes of voter fraud don’t show up,” said Mitchell. “We are leaving the door open to the rampant opportunity of bad actors.”
“If they care enough to vote, they care enough to get an ID to vote,” he said.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler said asking the people of Colorado would be a prudent avenue in determining the need for photo identification in voting.
“Leaving this issue to the common sense of the good people of Colorado is the way this issue should be decided,” said Gessler.
Yet, Sen. Bob Bacon (D-Fort Collins) who voted with the Democratic majority in killing the bill on a party-line vote, said the ballot proposal didn’t pass constitutional muster.
“The right to vote is a constitutional right and is not open to public opinion. Asking voters to verify a constitutional right is not constitutional,” said Bacon.