Scott Gessler office's latest glitch: 800 voters who recently registered may not be
Critics of Secretary of State Scott Gessler argue that he spends more time intimidating and suppressing voters than he does registering them. Though Gessler has always denied those claims, he admitted yesterday that nearly 800 voters who legally registered may not have been put into the system due to a glitch -- and now they have to re-register. Trouble is, Gessler's office has no way of figuring out who they are.
While this latest problem at the Secretary of State's office has nothing to do with his controversial campaign to weed out illegal voters, it's certainly bad timing for Gessler, who faces continued criticism that he is failing to make voter registration his top priority. This month, he even faced backlash for a large-scale initiative aimed solely at encouraging more people to register across the state, due to errors in his office's mailings.
And now he has to deal with hundreds of unknown voters who used the Secretary of State's new mobile website. Over a period of eleven days this month, the system appears to have failed to actually register those who used it. For that reason, 779 voters apparently have no way of knowing they aren't actually registered, Gessler's office doesn't currently have any way to identify them or let them know they should register again.
Sam Levin Scott Gessler talking to reporters after a news conference earlier this month.
Which is why Gessler decided to hold a press call with reporters yesterday afternoon, so news outlets could spread the word and reach voters who need to check their statuses.
"Frankly, we're asking for some help here," he said, explaining that new voters may not be registered if they went to GoVoteColorado.com on a mobile device or tablet between September 14 and 24.
The problem, he said, was with the software that Gessler's office unveiled at the end of last month, when he announced that Coloradans could register to vote using a new mobile-optimized site. At first, the error resulted in his office getting two registrations or transactions if a voter hit submit twice, essentially creating extra work for his team. Staffers corrected that problem on September 13, but inadvertently created a new issue.
After that date, registrations completed on the mobile device may not have actually been entered into the database, he said.
His office discovered the gaffe when one employee registered to vote using the mobile-optimized site and it didn't appear in the voter registration system. The Secretary of State's information technology staff quickly discovered faulty programming and corrected the application on the 24th. So the mobile site is fine to use now, but during that eleven-day period, it seems to have failed hundreds of others.
"We were able to identify the traffic...779 people to be exact...but we don't know who they are," Gessler said.
Continue reading for more on this glitch in Gessler's office.