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The office of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Friday issued the following press release on voter intimidation concerns ahead of the Nov. 8 general election:
Today, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold issued the following statement on voter intimidation concerns:
“Every eligible Colorado voter, Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated, has the right to cast their ballot without fear of intimidation. The Colorado Constitution reads: ‘all Elections shall be free and open; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.’
“There is no room for ambiguity when it comes to protecting every Coloradan’s right to vote without fear of intimidation of any kind. Free and fair elections, without intimidation, are the cornerstone of American Democracy. Intimidation or harassment that interferes with voters’ right to make their voices heard, or that threatens Colorado’s election workers, will not be tolerated.”
Official or unofficial election watchers do not have the right to interfere with a voter casting a ballot including at drop boxes or voting centers. Persons attempting to interrupt or intimidate voters by aggressive questioning, challenging, photographing or videotaping at a drop box or voting center may be violating state laws against voter interference and intimidation, and potentially also federal voting rights law.
Except for law enforcement and licensed security officials, open carrying a gun is prohibited within 100 feet of a drop box, voting center, or ballot processing facility. In addition, it is a crime to intimidate, threaten or coerce an election official while they are performing official duties or to retaliate against them for performing their official duties. These new reforms led by Secretary Griswold were passed into law this year.
Electioneering of any kind is also prohibited within 100 feet of a drop box, voting center, or ballot processing facility.
If a voter or election worker feels harassed or threatened, they should reach out to local law enforcement, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, or the U.S. Department of Justice.