Scott Gessler office's latest glitch: 800 voters who recently registered may not be

Categories: Politics

Gessler said individuals who may have been affected should go to GoVoteColorado.com and check their registration status -- and re-register if need be.

Scott Gessler press conference 1.JPG
Sam Levin
Scott Gessler speaking at a press conference announcing a voter registration initiative.
"There's always hope we may be able to find out" the identities of those who registered, Gessler said. But he added that his office is "operating under the assumption that we're not going to be able to figure out who those 779 people are."

The timing is not great given that the October 9 registration deadline is rapidly approaching and the stakes are especially high, since Colorado is expected to be one of the closest races in the country with a very small margin of victory for the next president.

"Our office did not engage in enough user testing...before we rolled out a software fix," Gessler said. "This happens in the information technology world."

He added, "We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard."

Since 2010, voters have been able to use the Secretary of State website on mobile devices, but it wasn't until late August of this year that his office rolled out a mobile-optimized site, which resulted in the glitches.

Gessler said Colorado is basically the only state that has this specific kind of web-optimized opportunity for registration.

Gessler also explained that there is ultimately a "safety valve for emergency registrations," such that if individuals registered during that time period with a mobile device and show up on Election Day to find out they aren't registered, they may still be able to vote. They can go to the clerk and recorder and swear under oath that they fit that criteria, which would allow them to fill out an emergency registration. This kind of last-minute registration has been used when individuals registered during a voter registration drive, but their information wasn't properly submitted. He said he will be providing guidance to clerks on how to handle this.

This news comes on the heels of negative press around Gessler's effort to clean up voter rolls and eliminate voter fraud. These efforts have led to a very small percentage of illegal voters actually being removed -- including a total of four in Denver County.

In this case, Gessler emphasized that he wants to do all he can to get the word out and address the problem, so no one is impacted by the glitch.

"We are trying to proactively reach out and tell people about this issue, so we can get ahead of it," he said. "Frankly, that's why we need your help."

More from our Politics archive: "Michael Hancock: I care about family of Wayne McDonald, ex-employee suing Denver"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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8 comments
Ann Hartman
Ann Hartman

It's getting intimidating for a lot of people.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

It happens. I read recently that every time Huey Long can up for re-election there were often glitches, lots of them. Mail bags were lost, ballots accidentally trashed, it happens. Why worry?

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson

When is Gessler up for re-election again?

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

Harder if you're a democrat. So incredibly illegal and against the constitution.

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