Evidence of Illegal Voting From Gessler: Zip, Zilch, Nada

Behind the website paywall, and in today’s Grand Junction Sentinel, is an article worth paying for–that said, we wish more people would see it than likely will behind a paywall. One of the fiercest critics of repeated assertions by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler that many, perhaps thousands, of noncitizens may have voted in Colorado elections in 2010, is in fact a fellow Republican–Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner. In a press release from Reiner at the same time Gessler testified before Congress about this “problem,” Reiner said flatly:

We take this allegation very seriously, Mesa County will follow up and attempt to obtain the data Secretary Gessler is basing his findings on.  I immediately requested a list of said voters.  I have been initially denied my request by the Secretary of State’s office.

It seems premature to make this kind of statement without having fully investigated the issue. It would take the involvement of County Clerks to review voter records and contact our voters to determine whether or not they have become citizens and are or are not properly registered.

The issue of whether or not noncitizens in Colorado later became citizens in the timeframe in question here, as federal immigration records indicate some 32,000 did in Colorado, is critical to determining if Gessler has identified an actual problem, or is simply attempting to manufacture one to justify purging the voter rolls. Gessler claimed he needed additional legislatively-clarified authority to sort it out, which is how he justifies throwing around numbers ranging from over ten thousand to barely a hundred “illegal voters”–and even that hundred he supposedly can’t be 100% sure about. Like Clerk Reiner says above, that kind of detailed evaluation of records, and contacts for verification purposes, is more properly the role of the county clerks.

But Gessler hasn’t even let them see the data, let alone help.

Well, in today’s story by Sentinel reporter Charles Ashby, Reiner says that Gessler has not provided a single shred of evidence that any of these people are improperly registered to vote–not the 11,000, not even the 106 Gessler says he is “nearly certain” there is a problem with. Reiner says she asked Gessler again about a week ago to turn over the information so she could begin to verify their status, and Gessler refused. Reiner, quoted by Ashby, has heard enough:

“I do not believe in what he’s claiming is true,” she said. [Pols emphasis] “I believe that there’s people who might accidentally get registered, but they won’t vote. I have no knowledge of anyone who is on our voter rolls who’s there illegally.”

Folks, if this is what the Republican county clerks think, you can imagine how much credibility Gessler actually has on this issue. Somewhere between “none” and a strong suspicion of purposeful mendacity. We think the more that voters of all political persuasions understand about the flimsy case Gessler is basing these very serious allegations on, the worse this will look for Republicans in general: especially those who backed his related legislation this year. After all, nobody likes being terrorized without cause–or worse, with a very nasty ulterior motive.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gray in Mountains says:

    was an illegal voter ;)

    This R County Clerk deserves a lot of praise.

      • Of course, it’s the Republican House he was probably lying to; I don’t think the DOJ will involve itself unless the House leadership asks them to.

        • ClubTwitty says:

          “No, your honor, I did not lie before Congress, I just do very poor and sloppy research and am generally confused about anything more complicated than a gum wrapper.”


          The courts generally favor an abbreviated encapsulation such as the one found in United States v.Dunnigan: “A witness testifying under oath or affirmation violates this section if she gives false testimony concerning a material matter with the willful intent to provide false testimony, rather than as a result of confusion, mistake, or faulty memory.”

          From CRS, pdf object http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis

          • ClubTwitty says:

            This must not apply to Members…

            I. Except as otherwise provided in this section,

            II. whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive,

            legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States,

            III. knowingly and willfully-

            IV. a. falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

            b. makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

            c. makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any

            materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

            shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years…

            Would that be SuperMax?

            • droll says:

              I say they need a Twitter back out. Correct via tweet within 24 hours and they forget it. Get with the times, Congress!

              (Half of that second sentence has already been informally adopted. Damn I’m good.)

            • Ralphie says:

              remember that his testimony was extremely weasel-worded.  In his own words,

              It is impossible to provide a precise number, however, because voter registration data are inconclusive.

              He was going for the headlines and hoping that nobody would read the actual text of the articles.

              • ClubTwitty says:

                Just a public and thorough investigation into what malfeasance may have occurred.  It’s about government accountability–who’s dime did Mr. Gessler travel on?  I’m sure all the Tea Partiers and fiscal Republicans agree.  

  2. WitnessProtectionForGeeks says:

    a cheat and a goon.

    I still predict he won’t survive his 4 years.  He’s level of corruption is unfit for the general tidiness of Colorado politics.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    on this solution looking for a problem?

    The citizens of Colorado should be more concerned about election fraud and denying people a chance to vote than voter fraud.

    The fact that Gessler is constantly in the headlines is a pretty good indication that he isn’t doing his job unless he considers tilting elections to favor Republicans his real occupation.

  4. BlueCat says:

    The issue of whether or not noncitizens in Colorado later became citizens in the timeframe in question here, as federal immigration records indicate some 32,000 did in Colorado, is critical to determining if Gessler has identified an actual problem, or is simply attempting to manufacture one to justify purging the voter rolls

    I think we can safely determine that, yes,  it’s all about purging voter rolls as they did in Florida in 2000, intimidating many, many thousands of perfectly legit voters into giving up on trying to vote. Rs always want to suppress the vote.  Rs hate small “d” democracy that allows all of those people to dare to vote. Unfortunately, no matter how much wealth is concentrated into a tiny and overwhelmingly GOP elite, there are still all those pesky, uppity voters to deal with. Let the intimidation and purging roll on.

  5. Old Time Dem says:

    Yet Republicans, in a classic case of projection, have pursued voter suppression.  I doubt that further lack of evidence of voter fraud is going to cause Republicans who supported Gessler’s legislation to lose any sleep.

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