It appears the national media decided to ignore yet another major voting scandal in a potential swing state. In fact, the motives of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler are being called into question for simply doing his job by trying to stop people from voting illegally. It is despicable that in some places public officials who try to stop voter fraud and have open and honest elections are seen as villains.
The names of 155 suspected non-Colorado citizens who have cast ballots in Colorado elections are in the process of being sent to prosecutors, Secretary of State Scott Gessler said.
The voters are among 4,201 people who have received letters from Gessler, the state's elections chief, asking them to clarify their status since last summer in the lead-up to the 2012 contests. The 155 have voted in one or more past elections, and did not reply to the letters, Gessler's office said.
Gessler said he had "no choice but to refer these cases to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution."
Letters were sent to people who once showed proof of non-citizenship, such as a green card, when getting a driver's license and then later appeared on voter rolls. Gessler is also using a federal immigration database known as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. The database tracks who is a legal resident eligible to receive government benefits but is a good tool and can be used for determing the eligibility of voters.
Rich Coolidge, a Gessler spokesman, said:
District attorneys have access to another database that elections officials don't, and that it could help verify the citizenship status of individuals. Coolidge said the names of the voters are "officially part of an investigation and not subject" to Colorado open records law.
"We can no longer turn a blind eye to this vulnerability in our election system," Gessler said.
It is admirable that Secretary of State Gessler is trying to get to the bottom of the situation with these illegal voters despite critics attacking him for doing his job. The people of Colorado deserve fair elections and those who choose to vote shouldn’t have the power of their votes watered down by the ineligible.