The pandemic has changed many aspects of life, but one of the most controversial changes has been the voting process. On Monday, June 21 at 6 pm, the MDT Vail Symposium presents “By the People: Vote in America” with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold; Catie Kelley, Senior Director of the Campaign Legal Center for Policy and Strategic Partnerships and Moderator Peg Perl, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Arapahoe County. discuss the state of voting and elections in America.
“The US electoral system has been challenged in 2020 like never before,” said Claire Noble, director of programming for the Vail Symposium. “An unprecedented pandemic combined with unsubstantiated allegations of widespread fraud has resulted in a series of lawsuits and subsequent legislation. Our panel of experts will decipher what this means for future elections. “
The accommodations during the pandemic have led to a widespread expansion of voting access across America, from 24-hour voting in Harris County, Texas, to drive-thru voting in Arapahoe County, Texas. Colorado. The safest in U.S. history, the backlash to expanding voting access has been swift with restrictive voting laws under consideration in 43 states.
Almost two-thirds of Americans voted by mail in the 2020 general election. Is mail-in voting the future of elections in the United States? What other changes due to the pandemic are likely to be permanent? The pandemic accommodations have raised questions about election security. Conducting secure elections while guaranteeing voting rights is a delicate balance. Are state-level laws nullifying accommodation necessary or an effort to restrict access to voting?
In addition to these issues, federal legislation and Supreme Court rulings can also affect the future of voting in our country. By June, the fate of HR 1 as well as much of the state’s current voting and election legislation should be known. In addition, the Supreme Court recently heard challenges to two Arizona election laws involving the harvesting of ballots and the disposal of votes cast in the wrong place. Their rulings on each could be released by June and could impact many more jurisdictions.
During this panel, Griswold, Kelley, and Perl discuss the state of voting and elections in America.
About the speakers
Jena Marie Griswold is the 39th Secretary of State for Colorado; she began her term on January 8, 2019. She is the youngest secretary of state elected in the United States. Griswold grew up in a working-class family in rural Colorado and was the first person in his family to attend four-year college and then law school. She knows firsthand how important it is that every vote counts and that every Coloradan’s voice is heard, regardless of their background or income. It will protect our right to vote, fight covert political spending, improve transparency, and stand up against those who try to bend the rules or break the law.
Catie Kelley is the Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the Campaign Legal Center. Recognizing that the federal government continually fails to act on issues of campaign finance, government ethics and voting rights, the CLC is developing an agenda under Kelley’s leadership to help state and local partners develop and implement effective policy implementation.
Kelley works with stakeholders at state and municipal levels, as well as with CTC legal staff, to assess reform options and determine what policy and approach would work best for their communities.
Moderator Peg Perl is the Chief Electoral Officer for Arapahoe County, Colorado. She came to this position in January 2020 with nearly 20 years of experience in election administration and voting rights, money in politics, government ethics, and open cases at the national, state and local levels. .