Gardner was Colorado’s first Senator to be elected by its statewide vote-by-mail election in 2014, but Colorado GOP electoral success didn’t stop there. Wayne Williams (R) was elected as Secretary of State that same year, and after 12 years in the minority, Colorado Republicans flipped the State Senate. Early 2015 polling of voters who used vote-by-mail showed 95% satisfied or very satisfied with its use.
Where else do you see that level of approval, let alone in something remotely political?
The Pew Charitable Trusts brief showed election costs in Colorado have “[d]eclined 40% on average” from 2008 to 2014. Vote-by-mail may reduce some election office expenditures for local governments now strapped for cash while in the throes of this pandemic, and it is not a moment too soon.
I get it, supporting vote-by-mail puts Senator Gardner in a pinch. Endorsing the President’s debunked election fraud theories would call into question the integrity of Gardner’s own 2014 election, potential 2020 re-election, and Colorado’s entire election system. By Senator Gardner pushing back to promote vote-by-mail, it could cause a good portion of the Trump base to turn on him.
Senator Gardner should look to Colorado Springs Councilmember, Wayne Williams, as an example. Williams both won and lost a statewide election which used vote-by-mail. Councilmember Williams continues to vouch for the voting method.
I will not mince words; the upcoming American election will look like nothing we have seen before and all the worse if we do not fund vote-by-mail across the country.
A handful of states, including Colorado, have already found a much respected, voter-approved, secure way to implement vote-by-mail. To close this door to other states known to be in crisis would be an injury to the fabric of our experiment called The United States, individual voices throughout the country, and to Coloradans themselves.
I have never been a Great Plains farmer as the Senator has, yet having been raised among the same windy prairies, one gains an understanding of the phrase ‘changes like the wind.’ In contrast, one also gains an appreciation for generational farms that have weathered the literal and figurative storms of many decades; life events, hail, drought, and economic disasters. Yet they still stand as pillars of middle-country in the face of those winds of change.
It’s time Senator Gardner stands just as solidly for the American people and supports American voters as many of us in Colorado have used vote-by-mail to elect him.
Senator Gardner knows that failure to fund vote-by-mail means many voters, by no fault of their own, are likely not to participate in the coming general election, as was seen in the April 2020 Wisconsin Presidential Primary, where FiveThirtyEight reported turnout was down between 37% – 59% in several highly populated counties when compared to 2016 participation.
America cannot allow a virus to take our voice. Failing to support vote-by-mail in the face of this pandemic will be nothing short of surrendering millions of American voices to a microscopic enemy.
America will not give an inch to any common enemy and cannot give up one vote.
Senator Gardner, please do the right thing and vote in support of vote-by-mail for all of America.