Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Monday announced that her office will hold a public meeting to discuss the “legal, technological and practical issues” of implementing ranked-choice and approval voting.
“For many years, election integrity activists and subject matter experts have advocated ranked voting or approval voting as superior voting methods,” her office wrote in its announcement. “Several Colorado home rule municipalities either currently use or are actively considering the use of alternative voting methods for their municipal elections.”
Most Colorado jurisdictions use plurality voting, in which the winner is the candidate with the highest number of votes. In ranked-choice voting, voters numerically order their preferred candidates. First-choice votes are tallied, and if no candidate has the majority, the candidate with the fewest votes has their electors’ second-choice preferences assigned. These instant runoffs occur until one candidate receives a majority.
In approval voting, voters select as many candidates as they would like for an office, and the winner is the candidate with the most votes. A statewide ballot initiative that would mandate approval voting for certain types of elections has been approved for signature gathering.
Griswold’s meeting will convene at 9 a.m. on Feb. 6 in the Aspen Conference Room of the Secretary of State’s office at 1700 Broadway in Denver.
In the wake of the Iowa Democratic caucuses on Monday night, Griswold also sent out reassurances that Colorado’s existing voting systems are secure.
“We have voter-verified paper ballots that can’t be hacked,” she wrote in a statement. “None of our in-person voting equipment is connected to the internet. We conduct the best post-election audits in the nation, that confirm election results.” Finally, Colorado has “accessible elections: mail-in ballots, in-person voting, and the ability to register and vote on Election Day!”