Colorado approves first-of-its-kind voting service for people in jail

Colorado will allow certain charged or incarcerated people to vote from behind bars this election with a first-of-its-kind program. 

Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) signed a bill Monday mandating election officials and law enforcement bring voting services to county jails and detention centers, including one day of in-person voting on Election Day. Convicted felons will still not be allowed to vote under Colorado state law.

“In Colorado, we really pride ourselves on our gold star election system,” said state Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Democrat who sponsored the bill. “Yet we realized that there was a group of people who weren’t able to fully access the ballot.”

Colorado is the first state to implement a statewide mandate such as this. Sixty-one jails and detention centers will bring in-person voting to their facilities in November. Under the program,
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