FOX 31′s Eli Stokols:
The day before the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election, many of Colorado’s county clerks blasted Secretary of State Scott Gessler in a harsh, four-page letter citing a “cumbersome list of issues.”
Gessler, a Republican nicknamed the “Honey Badger” by Democrats convinced he’s using his office to advance a partisan agenda to disenfranchise minorities under the guise of a crackdown on voter fraud, is in the midst of a voter registration drive that he hopes will be the largest in state history.
But among the concerns expressed by the clerks is that software aimed at enabling people to register to vote from their smartphones and tablets didn’t work, and that 800 registrations submitted via mobile applications in September didn’t go through.
AP’s Kristen Wyatt via the Durango Herald:
The clerks also took issue with a new policy for overseas voters. The clerks said that a print-your-own-ballot system for overseas voters was also improperly tested and has led to problems.
“Recent errors and oversights have created a cumbersome list of issues for local officials,” the clerks wrote…
The clerks said they had time to contact overseas voters and correct possible insecure balloting. But they chided Gessler by telling him they prevented a possibly “quite serious” electoral nightmare.
“If any contests are close, these ballots would have been contested and results called into question,” the clerks wrote. [Pols emphasis]
Tim Hoover of the Denver paper reports on several other, mostly technical items that clerks complained to Secretary of State Scott Gessler about in yesterday’s letter–there was the error-riddled voter registration postcards sent to thousands of already-registered voters last month, “confusing” implementation of the new statewide voter database, and other problems.
The letter asks for Gessler to “spend less effort attempting to transfer blame to local officials,” and more time working with clerks to carry out a secure and accessible election.
Left unstated in Hoover’s story but noted by the AP and FOX 31 is the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Gessler’s devotion of his office’s limited time and resources to purge “noncitizen voters” from the rolls. While these technical problems aggregate, fester, and become a major headache for the county clerks, Gessler has been obsessed with purging 141 voters, .0004% of the electorate–who as it turns out appear to be almost entirely legal too.
This is the other problem with putting “the fox in charge of the henhouse.” The Bible calls it “swallowing camels to strain gnats.” Gessler has ignored more important (if mundane) responsibilities, with greater consequences for neglect, to pursue a fruitless partisan witch hunt.
Meanwhile, a criminal investigation into voter registration fraud is underway, related to a company hired by the Republican Party, Strategic Allied Consulting, and a longtime GOP operative with a history of voter registration shenanigans. Yet as we saw in his speech to CPAC last week, Gessler’s only interest is in baselessly attacking Democrats with fictitious partisan allegations–now debunked by the laughable results of Gessler’s own investigation.
Folks, how can any responsible citizen defend this man today?