Out of fourteen illegal voters banned after Scott Gessler's campaign, how many voted? Zero
Update: Yesterday, we reported that a total of fourteen people were removed from Colorado voting rolls following an extensive effort by Secretary of State Scott Gessler to potentially illegal voters; see our original post in its entirety below.
Big photos below.
Since sharing these results, we checked with Gessler's office to find out how many of these fourteen actually voted. The answer turns out to be none.
Gessler spokesman Rich Coolidge tells us that the records of these individuals indicate none have any voting history. Gessler's office does, however, have records of others who have allegedly voted illegally -- since they've admitted on forms that they are non-citizens and yet have still voted. But this is not the case with these fourteen.
When Gessler's office originally announced that 141 individuals were illegally registered, they said that 35 of them had a voting history. It would appear that the fourteen ultimately removed -- though there could be more in the final weeks before Election Day -- were not a part of those 35.
These results have not dissuaded Gessler from trying to find additional scofflaws. Read about it in today's post "Scott Gessler's office running checks on thousands of more potential non-citizens."
See our previous coverage below.
Original post, 11:02 a.m. October 11: Yesterday, Secretary of State Scott Gessler celebrated the end of voter registration with a press conference announcing the success of his campaign encouraging residents to sign up -- more on that below. But first, the results of the other Gessler effort, which focused on weeding out illegal voters. After working with the federal government and a facing an onslaught of negative headlines, Gessler's office has a count from across the state of those removed from voter rolls: fourteen.
We reported last month that in Denver County, Gessler's latest anti-fraud initiative resulted in four illegal voters being removed. And on Tuesday, the final day of registration, Scott Gessler spokesman Rich Coolidge gave us numbers for counties across the state: Three were removed in Adams County, three in El Paso County, two in Garfield County, one in La Plata County, one in Jefferson County and the aforementioned four in Denver. That makes fourteen.
Let's do a quick recap of the process that led to the removal of these fourteen individuals -- the result of Gessler's most recent initiative to clean up voter rolls.
Sam Levin Scott Gessler talking to reporters at a press conference yesterday.
Back in August, Gessler sent letters to nearly 4,000 registered voters asking them to prove they are citizens. The letter recepients were potentially illegal voters, because they had at some point presented proof of non-citizenship, such as using a green card or VISA to get a license at the DMV. Critics at the time argued that the letters might intimidate voters and could very well be sent to legal voters who had recently become citizens.
Later that month, Gessler's office announced that of the 3,903 who received the original letters, 1,011 voters moved with no forwarding address and 482 successfully affirmed their citizenship. Additionally, sixteen voluntarily withdrew their registrations. (We spoke to one legal citizen who got the letter and was not happy about it).
In a separate action, the Secretary of State's office also ran the names of 1,416 voters who had an "alien identification number on file with the DMV" through the Department of Homeland Security's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database to confirm their citizenship. In September, Gessler's office released an update on the investigation, announcing that 10 percent of that group, or 141, aren't citizens -- at least, according to that federal database. Gessler lamented that his office only recently got access to the federal resource, giving them very little time to address the problem posed by those illegal voters. He then sent those names to county clerks with instructions on how to challenge them.
Of those 141 sent to county clerks, we know that fourteen have been removed. That's about 10 percent of the total flagged by the federal database, which was 10 percent of the names that ran through that system. And fourteen is 0.00038 percent of the roughly 3.6 million voters now registered in the state.
Opponents of Gessler, a Republican, argue that this effort should not have been such a big priority of his office -- with his harshest critics saying that he is motivated by partisan efforts to discourage non-Republicans from voting.
But Gessler and his team argue that there's no solid proof the other 127 voters out of the 141 flagged are legal, eligible voters. Gessler says that his office just didn't have enough time to address the problem -- a very serious problem, he believes, given that the federal government has said they aren't citizens.
While officials like Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson argue that they've verified the eligibility of those sent their way -- except for the ones they've removed -- Gessler's office argues that those clerks don't have any way to definitively confirm that the federal government is wrong and the voters are actually citizens.
Continue for more on Gessler's voter registration results.