Colorado secretary of state touts state’s ballot drop box system

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Published Thursday, August 13, 2020
by Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Wednesday touted the state's secure ballot drop box system as the U.S. Postal Service undergoes restructuring ahead of the November election. 

In Colorado, voters can vote in-person, mail in ballots, or drop ballots off at drop boxes across the state. 

Those boxes "are safe, secure, and add great access to voting," Griswold said in a statement.

"In fact, about 75 percent of mail ballot voters return their ballots to a drop box," Griswold added. Over 99 percent of ballots in the state's June primary election were returned by mail or drop box, the office said.

Griswold said the state's "use of drop boxes is even more crucial as the U.S. Postal Service is under attack."

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced last week that USPS - which isn't funded with taxpayer dollars and is facing ballooning debt - will restructure its management system. Other cost-cutting policy changes have reportedly led to lags in mail delivery time.

"This organizational change will capture operating efficiencies by providing clarity and economies of scale that will allow us to reduce our cost base and capture new revenue," DeJoy said in a statement last week.

DeJoy has been criticized by top Democrats in Congress who fear the changes could restrict the use of mail-in ballots in the November election, Axios reported.

"These changes were made without sufficient consultation with Congress, and include reductions of overtime availability, restrictions on extra mail transportation trips, testing of new mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of Post Offices, and the reduction of the number and use of processing equipment at mail processing plants," House Democrats wrote in a letter to DeJoy on Wednesday.

"These changes compound the operational and service delays that you have instituted," the letter added.

Griswold's office assured voters on Wednesday that the state is "uniquely insulated to withstand any service disruptions" from USPS, citing the state's drop box system. 

The Secretary of State's office said it expects there to be between 330 and 350 drop boxes available to voters by November.

"Colorado law also requires that all drop boxes be kept under 24-hour video surveillance with adequate lighting in order to be able to easily detect potential tampering," the office said. "When drop boxes are emptied, they are done so at least every 24 hours by a team of bipartisan election judges who must maintain a detailed chain of custody log when transporting ballots between drop boxes and the central counting facility to ensure no ballots are removed or added."

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