Out of fourteen illegal voters banned after Scott Gessler's campaign, how many voted? Zero
We asked Gessler -- before he chowed down on some Filipino food at a food truck stop on Tuesday -- for his assessment on the success of this effort to weed out illegal voters.
"Overall, it went okay," he said. "Obviously, I would've preferred we had better cooperation from the federal government early on. So that was sort of a bit of a handicap.... It's been really good in the sense that it's revealed some real vulnerabilities in the system -- people who are erroneously registered."
Sam Levin Scott Gessler with Kathy Gietl, a food truck owner featured in one of his registration advertisements.
He continued, "I've tried very hard to take an administrative approach to it and just make sure our voter rolls are accurate. I think the fact that we've had some good success here...that it's raised the issue, I think we're going to have better voter rolls in the future."
Repeating the line he uses consistently when questioned about this effort, he said, "You want to make it easy to vote, tough to cheat. So we've spent a lot of time on the easy-to-vote side and we're spending time on the tough to cheat. And I say 'cheat' -- whether it's fraud, or a mistake, abuse. But I think the bottom line is, you've gotta look at both sides if you're gonna...say that we feel comfortable with our elections."
Was he hoping to catch more individuals illegally registered and actually remove them?
"I didn't go into it with any preconceived notions along those lines," he said. "I didn't go in saying I want a big number or I want a small number. I went in saying, look, we've got a vulnerability. We don't know what the heck is going on. Let's find out what's going on. We obviously found there's a problem with the limited databases, limited sources we've had, we've identified some issues. And hopefully over time, we'll just get better at figuring this stuff out. And if that results in a big number or a small number, I'm not worried about that. I want to make sure that it's the right number."
Still, his critics say, the priorities of his office are just wrong.
"We never thought it was gonna be a big number, but I hope that Gessler pays attention to this," says Denise Maes, public policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, pointing out that he has a lot of other concerns he should be focusing on. "It's a disproportionate amount of time spent on a very small problem, especially relative to all the other issues going on in his office."
Maes says that she supports efforts to eliminate fraud, but feels Gessler is devoting too many resources to it.
Continue for more on Gessler's voter registration results.