UPDATE: Recall opponents tell us that Twila Sue Peach, whose name appears on the petition to recall Sen. John Morse but has in fact been dead for two years, was NOT invalidated by the Secretary of State's office's screening of signatures. What questions does that raise about the validation process? Developing…
Above are three clips of video we were forwarded from yesterday's evening news in Colorado Springs, each detailing the claim by supporters of Sen. John Morse that a number of signatures submitted in support of his recall this September are fraudulent. As KOAA-TV reports:
[A Whole Lot of People for John Morse] gave a copy of the sheets in question to a member of the DA's office along with an affidavit claiming at least 28 names were forged.
One such name, Twila Peach, actually died two years ago. Her husband Ken says Twila was known by her middle name Sue, and he says she always signed her name Twila Sue.
"It upsets me that somebody would try to use her name for political gain," he said.
Another name is signed Allen Davidson, when the actual homeowner at the listed address named Alan Davidson.
"The least they could do is spell my name right," Davidson said. "That's sheer stupidity right there."
The recall campaign responds through a spokesperson, as reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Jennifer Kerns, spokesperson for Basic Freedom Defense Fund, the organization leading the recall effort, said, "If there does turn out to be a case of fraud, we will join them in asking that this be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Even if it just involved just 50 signatures."
It's frankly tough to imagine the signature of a dead person, especially someone who has been dead for over two years, appearing on a recall petition in a way that doesn't involve fraud. Under the law as it exists today, there was always little chance of finding enough fraudulent or otherwise invalid signatures to throw out the recall: even if systematic fraud was proven, only the signatures proven to be individually invalid can be thrown out. A more valuable use for these signatures will be to hold this up to Senate District 11 voters as evidence of the illegitimacy of the whole recall effort–signing up dead people to the recall petition being just one particularly unseemly angle.
Like Secretary of State Scott Gessler says, one case of fraud can ruin everything…