Press Release

The Sentencing Project Lauds the Expansion of Voting Rights for People Incarcerated in Colorado

Governor signs SB 72 to facilitate voting in detention centers and jails statewide.

Related to: Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 24-072, which expands voting rights for incarcerated individuals in Colorado. The bill requires polling stations at every county jail and detention facility and requires sheriffs to facilitate one day of in-person voting at every facility. This critical legislation will advance democracy, racial equity, and the reintegration of justice-involved individuals into society in Colorado.

Co-sponsored by state senator Julie Gonzales, and state representatives Manny Rutinel and Kyle Brown, the passage of Senate Bill 24-072 aligns with the growing national movement in states like Nebraska, New Mexico, and Minnesota and nationally through legislation like the Inclusive Democracy Act, to restore voting rights to currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.

“The passage of Senate Bill 24-072 marks a pivotal moment for voting rights in Colorado.  It reflects a broader recognition of the importance of second chances and the need to address systemic barriers to full participation in civic life,” said Carmen J. López, on behalf of The Sentencing Project. “By ensuring voting access to people who are incarcerated, through the requirement of in-person voting, and substantial allocation of resources, Colorado has taken a bold stand for democracy and equality. We commend the advocates who worked tirelessly to champion this legislation and uphold the fundamental rights of all citizens.”

Senate Bill 24-072 makes Colorado the first state to require all county jails to set up in-person voting stations for incarcerated voters. Jurisdictions in Illinois, Michigan, Texas as well as Washington D.C. authorize in person voting at certain local jails. However, codifying the practice into Colorado law establishes a new precedent, a first for the nation.

“Advocates of Senate Bill 24-072 agree that placing polling stations inside jails will reduce barriers to a fundamental right for those eligible to vote,” said Kyle Giddings with the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, who is formerly incarcerated. “It’s important that we acknowledge that those who are closest to the problem also have an opinion and a voice in solutions related to criminal justice issues that end up on the ballot. Giving incarcerated folks access to the ballot returns the power of their voice to them.”

In collaboration with over 40 national and local civil rights organizations, The Sentencing Project recently wrote to Congressional House Members in support of the Inclusive Democracy Act, which would restore federal voting rights to people with felony convictions across the country.

About The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project advocates for effective and humane responses to crime that minimize imprisonment and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice. 

About the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate the overuse of the criminal justice system and advance community health and safety.

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