Looking at the data on voter registration withdrawals in Colorado
By Amy Cohen
In nearly every state, some data fields on the voter registration list are public record and available for purchase; typically, this includes name, address, year of birth, vote history, and party identification where applicable. Many voters are only just becoming aware that this is the case thanks to the recent request by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity for publicly available voter data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Denver Post reported that, as of July 13, just under 3,400 Colorado voters canceled their voter registrations, a very small fraction of the state’s nearly 3.7 million total registered voters. Other states have not reported an increase in registration cancellations.
671 of Colorado’s cancellations came from from the City and County of Denver between July 3 and July 14; in the previous two weeks, just 20 voters canceled their voter registration. The July cancellations still represent just 0.15 percent of Denver’s total active and inactive registered voter population. 62 percent of those canceling their registrations from June 19 to July 14 are registered Democrats, despite only 48 percent Democrat registration in Denver overall. Unaffiliated voters, who make up 36 percent of Denver’s registered voter population, are 32 percent of those who have canceled their registrations. Republicans comprise 14 percent of registered voters and four percent of those who have canceled their registrations.
In neighboring Arapahoe County, 544 registered voters have canceled their registrations as of July 19, representing just 0.13 percent of Arapahoe’s registered voters. Similar to Denver, Democrats make up 33 percent of Arapahoe’s registered voter population while they comprise 54 percent of those who have withdrawn their voter registration record. Unaffiliated registrants comprise 38 percent of canceled voter registrations and 37 percent of the registered voter population, and Republicans make up 28 percent of registered voters and just 7 percent of those who have canceled their voter registrations.
Arapahoe also provided more detailed demographic data. Those who have canceled their voter registration are somewhat more female than the registered voter population—61 percent vs. 52 percent—as well as slightly older than Arapahoe’s registered voter population overall.
Given the challenges of getting voters on the rolls in the first place, seeing voters cancel their registrations is concerning. Fortunately, Colorado’s sweeping Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act of 2013 implemented in-person Election Day registration, among many other reforms, so these voters will still be able to cast a ballot at a Voter Service and Polling Center even if they forget to re-register in advance of their next election.
*As of July 21, Denver reports more than 850 cancellations (0.19 percent of total registered voters) and Arapahoe reports 576 cancellations (0.14 percent of total registered voters).