Per Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press and Ernest Luning of The Colorado Statesman, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler is mailing 4,000 letters to “possible non-citizens,” (Luning quote) asking them to verify their voter eligibility status or remove themselves from the voter rolls. If it seems like Gessler is trying to get someone else to prove his nonexistent conspiracy theory, well, it’s probably because he hasn’t the slightest idea of what might or might not be happening that has him so concerned.
Ever since he was first elected as Secretary of State in 2010, Gessler has been on a mission to maybe prove that there is possibly a problem with an unknown number of Coloradans who may or may not be legally registered to vote.
The numbers of possible law-breakers are always different depending on the press conference; today it’s 4,000 people, but in June it was an oddly specific 85 people. Actually, there was another figure mentioned in June of 430 possible wrongly-registered voters. County clerks from all across the state – both Democrats and Republicans – have publicly challenged Gessler’s unfocused crusade. Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, a Republican, flat-out said in early 2011 that she had seen no evidence of someone voting who was not eligible to vote, so she asked Gessler for more information. Naturally, he refused, although he had just recently finished telling Congress of the 11,000 non-citizens registered to vote in Colorado.
Gessler could push back with a little more merit if he had just one number that stayed consistent. Unlike, say his claim in January that 6 people may have fraudulently voted. Or, say, his comments from November 2011 when he said that there might have been fraud in Denver’s elections, but he really wasn’t sure (although he said months earlier that he was pretty sure).
This whole thing has long since gotten way out of hand, and hopefully reporters will stop repeating things that come out of Gessler’s office until he backs them up with something – anything – resembling even a minutiae of proof. For one thing, this whole idea that a bunch of people might be improperly registered to vote is wholly irrelevant if you can’t point to any of them actually voting. It’s like trying to prove an increase in the number of DUI cases by counting the number of driver’s licenses issued.