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The Aspen Public Radio Newsroom has chosen to focus on four specific issues for our election coverage: the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice/representation, climate change and land use/management.These issues were among the most important to voters, according to a Pew Research poll in August 2020. We also chose them because they are important to people who live in the Roaring Fork Valley. That’s especially true as many have seen the economy, and their livelihoods, take a hit because of the pandemic, the growing Latino population in the region hasn’t had someone from their community holding a countywide governmental office, wildfires have been ferocious this season in the state, and the oil and gas industry employs many people.Our central question while reporting this series was “What Can I Expect From My Government?” We set out to find a diverse group of people who could tell us their answers to that question.Our election series is scheduled for Oct. 20-23. You'll be able to hear the stories during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. All our content will also be available here. Many of the other stories you’ll find here are from our reporting partners. We wanted to provide information about Colorado's key ballot initiatives and races, and also share details about how you can take part in this historic election year.

Colorado Considering Legal Action To Protect Mail-In Voting

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold defends mail-in ballots during a press conference Monday in downtown Denver.
Scott Franz
/
Capitol Coverage
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold defends mail-in ballots during a press conference Monday in downtown Denver.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Monday he is considering taking legal action against the Trump administration to prevent cuts to the U.S. Postal Service that might threaten mail-in voting in November.

Weiser’s threat comes days after Trump said he opposed providing billions of dollars of emergency funding to the USPS during the pandemic because he does not want the money to be used to expand voting by mail.

Some top Democrats in Colorado, including Secretary of State Jena Griswold, are accusing Trump of trying to suppress voters by opposing the extra funding.

“We’re living at a challenging time,” Weiser said. “It’s a time when all of us have reason to be concerned whether our federal government is following the rule of law, is acting in the service of our constitutional values.”

Weiser said he has been talking to his counterparts in other states about a potential lawsuit over the USPS cuts.

“Efforts by the federal government to undermine our constitutional duty and the individual rights of people to vote is something we take very seriously, so we’re going to explore all avenues to protect our constitution,” he said.

Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet joined Weiser and Griswold at a press conference held at the Denver Elections Center.

All of the elected officials touted Colorado’s seven-year track record of conducting its statewide elections by mail.

“We here in Colorado can’t figure out why this has been made a partisan issue,” Polis said, noting Republicans used mail-in ballots at a higher rate in the most recent primary election. “Look no further than Colorado, where we have shown that voting by mail is safe, reliable, non-partisan and extremely popular.”

Polis and the other elected officials said they had not heard of any postal service reductions in Colorado that might impact the state's ability to conduct the mail-in election.

“But we need to be vigilant here,” Bennet said.

Polis said he thinks more voters will use secure drop boxes this year instead of mailing their ballots back.

“It could very well be 80 to 90% (of voters) using drop boxes,” he said.

Copyright 2021 KUNC. To see more, visit KUNC.

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.