Independence Institute Encourages “Gypsy Voters”

Jon Caldara.

Jon Caldara.

Clicking through on that eyebrow-raising Tweet from Jon Caldara takes you to a new website, Bring In The Vote, which advertises itself as "a project of the Independence Institute." Here's what it says:

Something really cool in the new law, you can even wait until the election day to decide if you have time to register and cast your ballot. No more having to register 30 days before the election and no more being required to live that entire time in the district where you choose to vote. In fact, you just have to have an address in the district. Honestly, they’d like you to live there, but no one can force you. [Pols emphasis] The law allows you to move from one Colorado district to another up until the day before the election if you have the “intention” of making the new district your home. Although they may call you a name such as “gypsy voter.” 

…Colorado lawmakers have declared that if a registered Colorado voter moves from one precinct in this state to another “with the intention of making the new county or precinct a permanent residence, the person is considered to have residence in the county or precinct to which the person has moved.”

The website is tongue-in-cheek in an inane sort of way, but there's nothing to clearly disclaim to readers anywhere that no, you cannot actually vote in these recall election if you don't reside in the districts. The truth is that any misrepresentation of one's residence to vote in a district one does not live in is a felony–to include misrepresenting one's "intentions" to reside there. When Caldara says "they'd like you to live there, but no one can force you," that's simply not true. As GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler's own office verified, a voter must have already moved to the district in order to claim their "intention" to live there. Any false affirmation entering into this chain of events is a felony under Colorado law.

Reading these sophomorically worded "instructions," it's undeniable that a casual reading of this website could give voters the idea that they can successfully "gypsy vote" in these recall elections. There's only one instance on the entire website we can find of even the barest legal disclaimer:

This summary is provided for information purposed only and not for the purposes of offering legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any statement of the Independence Institute in this summary without seeking advice from qualified legal counsel on the particular facts and circumstances involved. [Pols emphasis]

Translation: "Please don't actually do this!" But you don't see this disclaimer until you get to the bottom of one page on the site, and not the same page as the claim "no one can force you" to live in the district.

The fact is, this site is so poorly constructed and worded that most users won't get what the point is at all. But other than to encourage vote fraud, we don't have any idea why this would considered a good idea. And if the hope was actually to produce real, if perhaps unsuspecting "gypsy voters?" We don't have the words to articulate just how stupid that would be.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. The realistThe realist says:

    Perhaps legal action would get jokester Caldara's attention . . . a cease and desist order?

     

  2. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Scott Gessler finally has the solid proof he's been looking for – a clear call for voter fraud. I'm sure he'll come down on Caldara like a ton of bricks. Real soon now. Here he comes.. Soon… Just getting his final legal documents in order… Here he comes… Real soon…

  3. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    It's like they're trying to mock the law, except it's not really mocking and they do make it sound like the state can't stop you from gypsy voting.

    If I were Pueblo DA Chostner I'd be making phone calls about how to get this shut down. If I were Caldara I'd take it down as fast as I could.

  4. Craig says:

    How about a charge of conspiracy to commit voter fraud?  Seems appropriate to me.

  5. n3bn3b says:

    Nonsense. This is a clever satire of the Democrats' horribly written new law. Only an idiot would take this seriously.

    Like Colorado Pols…

    • roccoprahn says:

      Really?

      You don't think this is a driver for a clusterfuck at the polls on election day?

      A purposefull wrench thrown into a pair of elections that aren't going to go your way if left alone to proceed legally and with integrity?

      You don't realize the very distinct possibility that a huge continent of disgruntled, disaffected, uneducated and angry screwballs that can't even name the 5 Bills these two Senators voted for will show up and cause major problems?    

      I've read you enough to know that while you do fancy yourself the"well read"  know it all, above it all  knowledgeable pro gun teabag scholar, your image of a redleg shooting a Democrat at the top of your posts gives you away as a typical conserve hack, quack, phony and fraud.

      Where have you been?

      You're a gun nut, a rabid teabagger. Far from up on what's actually  happening in Colorado, but rather a typical low information conservative loudmouth. 

      It's not satire. It's an attempt by jonthecon and his "mad as hell" for hire quackshop to muddy the elections.

      Two bad options for you. Either you know that, and you're contributing to the bullshit, or you're dumb as a post and haven't a clue as to what the "independence institute" does for a living. Both prove you to be an embarrassment.

      • n3bn3b says:

        If it's going to be a "clusterfuck," that's only because the Democrats wrote a horrible bill.

        Colorado is learning an important lesson about giving Democrats power. Don't do it, ever, no matter how tempting.

        • Yeah – 'cause Republicans did such a great job of fiscal management while spending all of their time worried about immigrants, gays, god and guns when they were charge…

          Oh – did we mention that the clusterfuck of mail-in ballots was a bill put forward in 2012 by Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler? Yeah, we did… But you're not interested in (a) hearing the truth or (b) fixing the problem – you're only worried about pushing the Republican party regardless of honesty. Which is where the Republican party gets in to trouble; it's being led by its need to be in control more than its moral compass.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Actually, the nitwits most likely to hear about Caldera's "joke" and believe it is serious and act on it are — wait for it — registered GOP morons!

      Who'll be laughing then when a few of your brethren get prosecuted for voter fraud?

      Hahahahahahaha!

    • BlueCat says:

      Bet I can find you an elf before you can find me a gypsy voter and a unicorn before you can provide me with proof of a single successful fraudulent vote in this or any other recent Colorado election. On the other hand, there have been plenty of documented cases of flyers being distributed fraudulently telling voters their polling place or the the date of an election has been changed. That really can affect an election and Rs aren't rising any alarms about that kind activity. In fact Rs are responsible for all of it.  In other states Rs have been responsible for crashing phone lines to get people rides to their polling place. The idea that a GOP SOS has to worry about Dems voting fraudulently is ridiculous. Dems are the ones who need to worry about the long history of GOP voter suppression dirty tricks. You guys hate the democratic process just as much as you hate Dems. 

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      Can't be satire.Cons don't know how to do satire particularly "clever"satire because they don't do too well with clever either.

      Re: your av image.I still would like to introduce you to my ex-Ranger friend who'd give you a quick lesson in concealing firearms.Otherwise I suspect that someday, maybe if I'm patient enough, I'll run across a wingnut who actually knows what "socialism"is.You're quite evidently not the one nor ever likely to be.

  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Here's what would happen if some out-of-district-moron decided to follow this website's directions to  vote in the recall election:

    a) they would not now be able to get an absentee or mail-in ballot – that option closed off at 5 pm today (Sept 3).

    b) they would have to show proof that they live in the recall district, even if the proof is very recent. Yes, they can register all the way up to election day (September 10). They still would need to show a utility bill, state ID, the big "yellow card" from Mr. Ortiz, or some other government document showing name and address – i.e. proof that they live in these districts.

    It's a myth (spread by Caldara, Marks, and other paid liars) that "intent to move to a district" is enough to prove residency and eligibility to vote. That is just not true, period.

    Anyone who does register on an "emergency" basis at the polling place on election day will also be put on a watch list and followed up by the county clerks, and prosecuted for voter fraud, if it's clear that the residence proof and recall voting was fraudulent. That's a felony.

    And encouraging or abetting a voter to commit election fraud is in fact a crime. 1-13-114,, in the uniform election code (pdf), a misdemeanor :

    1-13-114. Failure to comply with requirements of secretary of state. Any person who willfully interferes or willfully refuses to comply with the rules of the secretary of state or the secretary of state's designated agent in the carrying out of the powers and duties prescribed in section 1-1-107 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

    I must say that, if we actually had a voter fraud problem, (instead of merely a voter suppression problem) , it would be delicious to see Mr. Gessler twisting into a pretzel to condemn a recall supporter committing deliberate fraud, or prosecuting Mr. Caldara for deliberately interfering with election rules.

    So far, what I've seen and heard about the recall election in Pueblo is that it's going smoothly. More than  2500 people have voted so far. There are three partisan observers in the room, and the one from Pueblo Freedom and Rights (recall backer) got shut down quickly when she tried to interfere with a voter.  The Secretary of State's observer has acted impartially and professionally, as have all of the clerks and judges. These are elderly people who don't take any crap from anybody. There will be no voter fraud in this election, if they have anything to say about it.

    Other recall tidbits:

    Ms. Mizel (head of Pueblo Republican Party)  is still agitating in the local press about how she didn't get her 24 hour notice to inspect voting machines. What isn't generally known is that the Republicans were given the opportunity to inspect the machines Thursday night, before voting started, and declined to show up.

    However, the machines were inspected, per regular procedure, with Republican and Democratic observers in attendance, on site at the election commission, prior to voting. I predict that Mizel will cry foul when the recall fails, and claim that the machines were interfered with somehow.

    This is going to be an expensive election, ($~230K at last estimate in Pueblo) and so far, contrary to the claims of the Head brothers, the state has no mechanism in place to reimburse for the costs of the recall election. Taxpayers in Pueblo and El Paso counties will end up footing the bill. How's that fiscal conservatism working out for y'all?

     

     

     

     

  7. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Another recall tidbit: the NRA put out a mailer, in "hunter orange" to voters on its own mailing list. Their mailer was the same size and shape as the "all SD3 voters" which the County Clerk had sent out.  The NRA mailer had only the old information about "no mail in ballots", and also had fewer voting locations than were actually open.

    So, by mistakenly or intentionally misinforming its "own" voters, it may have disenfranchised them. Irony is required for healthy brain growth!devil

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