DENVER — Early this morning, Democratic candidates and leaders gathered with a few dozen supporters in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood to walk the talk on campaigns now primarily focused on getting out the vote.
“Two stamps!” U.S. Sen. Mark Udall reminded voters before ceremoniously casting his mail-in ballot at a mailbox on the corner of 27th and Welton streets.
Udall noted that more than 50,000 new voters have registered in Colorado this year. Udall’s campaign is hoping that increased registration, combined with all-mail balloting, same-day voter registration and extensive “ballot chasing” on the ground will put them over the top in their breakneck U.S. Senate race against Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner.
The election modernization law, which mandates that mail-in ballots such as the one Udall cast be sent to all voters, was highly controversial when it passed in 2013 and is now a key issue in the race to be Colorado’s new secretary of state.
“Colorado is now the model in terms of how we administer our elections,” said Democratic candidate Joe Neguse, pointing out that his opponent, Wayne Williams, was among a minority of clerks to oppose the reforms.
“What we need is a secretary of state who’s going to protect these important reforms, not a secretary of state who’s going to focus his energy on dismantling them,” Neguse said. “I’d like to work in tandem with county clerks to continue to improve the system we have.”
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also cast his ballot today.
After accompanying Udall to the corner mailbox, Hancock and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb strode down Welton Street to an official ballot drop-off point where they and their supporters cast ballots.
“I want to encourage people to stay with the ballot, meaning vote all the way down,” said Hancock, plugging for Democrats such as Neguse and state Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver).
“This is what democracy is about. You either show up to the game and participate or you watch it from the stands,” said Webb.
“All of you know people that aren’t voting. You need to pull them out. … This is about our ground game. Across this country, they’re watching to see if this ground game works. If it works, Mark Udall and John Hickenlooper get re-elected along with the whole ticket, and the whole nation will say Colorado is blue.”
[Hancock, Udall and Webb head to a ballot drop-off on Welton St. by Tessa Cheek.]