In a press release Tuesday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said that Colorado’s Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) system has been a resounding success.

“Enabling Coloradans to easily register to vote is important, but never more so than during a national pandemic,” Griswold, a Democrat, said. “AVR has expanded access to our elections and is allowing more eligible Colorado voters to participate in our democracy. The impressive number of new registrations shows how effective AVR can be.”

Automatic Voter Registration has been in place for a year. In this time, over 250,000 Coloradans have registered to vote through the system. 

The system automatically registers eligible Coloradan voters when they apply for or renew their driver’s license. These people are sent a letter that allows them to opt out if they do not wish to be registered.

Automatic Voter Registration streamlines the registration process, making it simpler and less time-consuming for Coloradans to register, and it also reduces the potential for human error, and improves the accuracy of voter records, according to proponents.

Opponents have said Automatic Voter Registration adds people who will never vote to the voter rolls, making list maintenance more complicated, forcing people to be part of a system they don’t want to be involved in, and increasing the likelihood of fraud.

State Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo)

In a year when many right-wing lawmakers are pushing for voter suppression, the importance of accessible and secure voter registration cannot be understated, say proponents.

“Automatic voter registration increases participation in our democracy and helps Coloradans vote,” said state Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) last May, when the system was first instituted. “I’m proud Colorado continues to lead the country in ballot security and access.”

For Coloradans without a driver’s license, a bill was signed this month allowing eligible voters to register using their social security number.