View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

ID at the Polls and What You Can Do 

Here are the items that Colorado will accept as valid identification at the polls, as of now:

  • A valid Colorado driver’s license;
  • A valid identification card issued by the department of revenue;
  • A valid U.S. passport;
  • A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of this state;
  • A valid pilot’s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
  • A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of t he elector (a cable bill does not meet this requirement);
  • A valid Medicare or Medicaid card;
  • A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate;
  • Certified documentation of naturalization; or
  • At least the last four digits of the person’s social security number.

The last four digits of the person’s social security number or a Colorado driver’s license number or Colorado ID number shall be accepted as identification only if the number is verified against an existing state identification record.

The complete list of voter registration and identification rules, as currently proposed, is here. Pay particular attention to Rules 5.5.7 and 26.

I just got off the phone with the immensely helpful Billi Joel Lupton at the Colorado Secretary of State's office. She confirmed that should the Common Cause lawsuit succeed, someone would be able to register and vote without ever showing any ID, aside from a signature. Presumably the elections officials would try to match the registration signature with the ballot signature, and we all hope they'd do better than CBS News in that regard.

Look at the gaping hole here. Some of the ID requires a picture ID. But much of it is little more than validation that a name matches an address, with no guarantee that the person voting is that person.

The Secretary of State's office will review and re-issue the rules on Thursday, based on public comment. Here's how you comment. Either go to the Committee hearing from 10:30-12 at the Secretary of State's office, in the Denver Post(!) building downtown, on the second floor on Thursday. (If anyone calls the SOS's office, and this information is not correct, or has been changed, please let me know by sundown Wednesday and I'll correct it.)

Alternately, you can email the HAVA Director, Drew T. Durham, at Be polite, but be firm. Let him know that you like the rules as written, that you do not want them relaxed, and that you want ID to b required for provisional balloting on November 2.

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