As the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports, we finally have charges filed against someone–four people, in fact–as a result of Secretary of State Scott Gessler's three-year quest to uncover what he originally insisted was "thousands" of illegal voters in Colorado:
The Arapahoe County district attorney's office has charged four people with misdemeanors after a voter-fraud investigation that tracked more than 40 people and election records dating back to 2008.
Two of the people charged are immigrants — one from Africa who has donated to Democratic causes, the other from Poland — who have been deemed ineligible to vote in Colorado. The other two are Coloradans who worked for a liberal non-profit organization that registered people to vote.
All four are charged with "procuring false registration," according to a news release Friday from Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler's office. The office investigated 41 "non-citizens."
"This is evidence that this is not an epidemic, but there are isolated incidents that need to be treated seriously," Brauchler said.
9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman with reaction from Secretary of State Gessler:
Gessler defends his record saying that snuffing out any amount of voter fraud, however rare, is a goal that justifies his policies.
"I appreciate District Attorney Brauchler's good work," Gessler told 9NEWS. "This news further confirms that there is a vulnerability in the system and is more evidence from across the state showing that confusion and error allow non-citizens to register, and in some cases vote."
Bartels reports that Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler's office spent some 300 man-hours investigating the 41 names referred to his office by Gessler, in the end producing indictments against two improperly registered voters and two paid canvassers from 2008. Brauchler is quickly gaining a reputation as a partisan politician with higher aspirations, and in support of Gessler's dogmatic campaign to uncover noncitizen voters, we're sure he spared no expense. In the end, though, Brauchler's statement that there is "not an epidemic" of voter fraud is reasonable and accurate, and there's nothing inappropriate in his misdemeanor indictments.
Obviously, Democrats are going to nonetheless question such a massive effort to "uncover" an infinitesimal amount of actual trouble. Gessler's insistence that this result in Arapahoe County "confirms" a "vulnerability in the system" is simply laughable. In every meaningful way, the paltry results of Gessler's years-long campaign to root out what he originally insisted was ten thousand or more "illegal voters" speak for themselves, and prove there is no systemic problem with noncitizens voting. The problems uncovered here are anecdotal, not systemic, and in fact are much smaller in number than so many other ways a legal voter's ballot might be compromised, invalidated, folded, bent, spun, or mutilated. As one example, compare this effort to the troubled rollout of Gessler's mobile voter registration website, which "disappeared" the registrations of many hundreds of legal voters. Everybody wants as accurate an election as possible, but what camels were swallowed to strain these proverbial gnats?
It's been said that those who set out with a preconceived expectation usually find what they expect to. In Gessler's case, even when the facts totally fail to support his expectations, he recites the same talking points.