The battle over voting rights

Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold discusses various voter laws passed in states like Florida and how President Biden is calling on Congress to pass voting rights legislation.
7:05 | 04/30/21

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Transcript for The battle over voting rights
A Florida elections bill now heads to the governor's desk after passing the Florida legislature last night. Among other things a bill would limit the use to drop boxes and add voter ID requirements for updating voter registration records and applying for a mail ballot. It's just the latest bill in a nationwide Republican effort to change election laws around the country. Now the democratic association of secretaries of state is pushing back against the legislation and the Colorado secretary of state senate pres Wald who chairs at association. Joins us now for more on the secretary Chris Walt thanks for being here first law. Think you Diane thanks for inviting me on so a spokesperson for the Florida governor says that Desantis just supports this bill. And says it quote will insure that Florida remains a national leader in election security integrity and transparency so why are you against it. Well what we're seeing across the nation including in Florida is the big voter suppression waves so Jim Crow era. I'm they are reforms making it harder to vote across the nation including increasing access mail ballot street increasing access to drop I. Drop boxes and other reforms are aimed at certain voter and I believe in the United States senate you're a citizen and you're eligible. Ballot are certain our democracy. Yeah what's wrong for example with voter ID laws to just ensure that people are who they say they are before they vote. Well you know it depends on how the mine is drafted in Colorado we have some of that secure election domination and more accessible. We also have sixteen arms and IDs that Colorado's Colorado and show and voting in person and you signature verification on mail ballots. So you're evil in this nation to set up secure elections and also high access. Colorado really gets it right we have weeks early voting. Voter registration. Voter registration we are at every registered Turks and the results speak for themselves the highest percentage of eligible people registered. And also our lives to lead the nation in participation rates we should be seeing a house not these bushes to take away power from the people by restricting access to couples. Now according to the nonpartisan Brennan center for justice nearly every state has introduced bills like this and then at least five have already been an active. So how are you trying to stop this. While democratic secretaries of state believe that voters should choose our elected officials and not other way around voter suppression bills are what elected officials do she Howard they they kick people they don't want out of the voting process and it's just it's not right it's un American it's undemocratic. And we should be expanding access or voting participation not restricting. I was a democratic secretaries of state are on opposing her suppression bills also are fine congress asked for the people act which wouldn't guarantee insurers say accessible elections for all Americans. And I want to get to that in a moment but first I know Iowa Arkansas and Utah Arizona they're all considering. Similar legislation so where are you putting your efforts in terms and trying to stop this and trying to fight this. Well democratic secretary. It's a state I'm are all trying to hold the line interstates we believe that we should be standing but they also all eligible Americans. Should that we should be expanding the boating and locations that we should be setting things like automatic voter registration. Unhappy and I today and in a democracy and that requires citizen participation. It is all of our constitutional rights to participate in elections and we should not allowed Al artists and elected officials to take right away from us it's really rocks while you're seeing across the nation. And so we're trying to hold the line in our states are also calling on congress acts. Colorado is proof of how well accessible election and work we are considered it surest in which cast ballots. I even die president trans warmer secretary commended us or are odd rate cyber security. Are you can't secure elections accessible elections. I'm and what are seen right now is is really just partisan elected officials trying to elections. Are. And as you mentioned president Biden is calling on congress to pass the for the people act and the John Lewis voting rights advancement act. Now one major feature of our electoral system in part of what makes it safe is that elections are run by states not the federal government to do you have any concerns. About local leaders like yourself losing authority to the federal government when it comes to elections. I'm believed that all Americans should have. Estimate their voices heard in elections regardless of there's a political party or color of their. And that's what these reforms would deal they would ensure that there is also more of what it means to how. Access and a democracy to cast their ballots so I'm fully supportive of these reforms I don't wait Diane they're largely based on how we do elections Alaron. An arm that in addition UIX an axis of souls and our constitutional rights of adults and they are these pieces of legislation would also go after a Russian church finance. Good to me I think that's what we really need to make sure fortifying our democracy especially after your and what we're seeing now with the sweeping voter suppression reports. But again there is an element to our electoral system that is safe for you you know you. It can't hack every individual Stater that we quite challenging rather than if it's all overseen by one group of people and meaning the federal government and they can the net change the rules as we go so. Is there is there any part of you that's concerned. About the federal government stepping in to this this part of our electoral system that has always been managed by the states. I would be concerned if the federal government was administering elections. This deal would. Still would do you would be I guarantee that all of our. Mail ballot. To make sure that governors and secretaries of state at away not merit and voters I would make sure that we're in surety voter verified paper ballots. That there's enough early voting that's what this legislation dies at Americans voting rights it. Go are -- I think that's he's a flight and the other side and we should be clear what other side is trying to ago. They are trying to voters aren't a big lie that was Ron with the election was. Funny that you're our nation's history. All and a chance to take power away from everyday people you know I admiral Colorado working class and I believe that every day people to choose or elect leaders and while we're seeing is conservative Republicans trying to choose their boaters to power and that's not. Rent secretary Jenna granola appreciate your time today thank you. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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