Out of fourteen illegal voters banned after Scott Gessler's campaign, how many voted? Zero
Gessler's ease-of-registration line now has numbers to back it up. At least that was the message of his press conference yesterday, in which he told reporters that his office has played a big role in helping break records, with 3,611,061 individuals now registered to vote in Colorado -- a number which he says will only grow as they finish processing a backlog of registrations.
"Today, we have a solid 10 percent...more registered voters," Gessler told reporters. "Colorado did not grow 10 percent in the last four years.... I think what contributed to this increase was the fact that the Secretary of State's office spent a million dollars in targeted, effective ads in the mail to encourage people to register to vote. And the Secretary of State's office made it incredibly easy for people to register to vote.... And I think this is a spectacular success story.... At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding."
Sam Levin Scott Gessler, next to graph showing huge spike in online visits in the final days of registration.
Gessler says there were 3,203,583 registered voters in 2008 and 3,296,953 in 2010. Now, with 3.6 million eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, which is likely to be decided by a very small margin of voters, these new registrants could play an important role in determining the next president.
Since August 31, there have been 1,167,190 visits to the voter registration website and 229,283 submissions online -- which could translate to a new registration or an update to an existing one. Gessler directly attributes these numbers to the launch of his ad campaign at the beginning of September.
He also says that the state is a model nationally for online registration systems.
"Colorado is a leader in online voter registration," he said. "I believe this is one of, if not the most sophisticated in the country."
He did face backlash, however, for problems with the site on the final day to register -- and explained that the website was overloaded at times.
"We got hit by a lot of traffic," Gessler said, explaining that there were about two-and-a-half hours when the website was performing far below expectations. "Those problems were solved quickly. We succeeded in solving them and making sure people could register to vote... or change their information."
There were 162,713 visits to the site on Tuesday -- and seventeen very serious procrastinators who either registered to vote or changed their information at 11:59 p.m., the final minute before the deadline passed.
Gessler touts Colorado's approach. "The unique aspect is, we've combined an online voter registration system with the tools to encourage people to use it -- a very aggressive ad campaign."
Continue for graphs on voter registrations and website visits from Gessler's office.