Sen. Amy Klobuchar Stops In Denver To Talk Elections, Voting, Her 2020 Campaign And Unions

May Ortega/CPR News
U.S. presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks at a Denver town hall held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 111 lodge in Park Hill, Dec. 8, 2019. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is to her left.

U.S. presidential candidate and Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was in Denver Sunday for a town hall alongside Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to draw attention to election security and access. 

More than 300 people packed in to see Sen. Klobuchar. She had high praise for Colorado's election infrastructure and voter access to the polls. Colorado is one of four states with an all mail-in election, though voters can take their ballots to drop-off sites rather than mail them or choose to vote in person.

Griswold pointed out that the state has installed more ballot drop-off boxes around Denver and on college campuses.

For Klobuchar, voter discrimination and gerrymandering are some of the biggest problems when it comes to U.S. elections and local elections commissions could help solve that. 

“Do you have that already?” Klobuchar asked Griswold. 

“We do,” Griswold replied. 

“Of course you do,” Klobuchar said with a laugh. Earlier in her talk, she had called Colorado a “model state” for election preparedness and access to the polls.

May Ortega/CPR News
U.S. presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and her Deputy National Press Secretary C.J. Warnke, laugh with voters following a town hall in Denver, Dec. 8, 2019.

Klobuchar also thanked voters who helped Democrat Jason Crow defeat Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in District 6 in the last election. Now four of the state’s seven congressional districts are represented by Democrats.

“Colorado, you have played such a major part in this with the elections and what you did,” Klobuchar said. “And you literally helped us change the House of Representatives back into the people's House again. You did that."

The local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hosted the town hall. Unions were another big topic of the day — something Klobuchar has a personal connection to.

"I am the granddaughter of an iron ore miner who worked 1,500 feet underground his whole life,” she said. “Without unions, he would have never made it — because the unions made those mines safer."

The presidential hopeful took some questions from the audience, including from a little girl named Hope. She asked the senator why she wants to be president. 

“We live in a country of shared dreams… We have put incredibly decent people in local, state and federal office. That is at its core what this is about,” she said. “It’s about all these issues that we’re debating. And we must remember that what unites us is bigger than what divides us.”

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