Colorado Elections Bill Cost

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A controversial Colorado bill that, among other changes, would allow Election Day registration and send all registered voters ballots by mail, has led to heated debate among state lawmakers and election officials. Much of the discussion has focused on whether the legislation will increase access to the polls or the risk for fraud.

Less a part of the debate is how much the proposed changes will cost to implement. The fiscal note for the legislation estimates at least $1.5 million over the next two fiscal years. More than half of this is for changes that will be needed to the statewide voter registration system.

But the fiscal note also estimates that the bill would save counties nearly $5 million over the same two fiscal years by:

  • Reducing staffing, supply, and equipment costs through the elimination of in-person polling places.
  • Decreasing the number of provisional ballots in need of processing.
  • Consolidating and eliminating certain mailings to registered voters.