Scott Gessler voter checks: 44 removed from rolls, four of them Republicans
Last week, Secretary of State Scott Gessler said his office had identified 300 more non-citizens illegally registered to vote who would be committing fraud if they did so. Gessler admitted that the timing of results from this second round of checks wasn't ideal. But county clerks were able to act before election day.
Between the two rounds, a total of 44 people listed on voter rolls have been removed statewide. Only seven of them have voted. And just four were Republicans.
The controversial project to prevent voter fraud in Colorado has reached thousands of residents who are registered to vote. And according to Gessler, the majority of those targeted are most likely not citizens.
The main way his office has conducted these investigations is through a federal immigration database, which his office used to cross-check the names of voters who signed up to vote but could be immigrants (based on Division of Motor Vehicles records).
Sam Levin Scott Gessler at recent press conference.
In two separate rounds, thousands of voters were scrutinized with this Department of Homeland Security database. The first check found 141. And the second, announced two weeks before election day, came up with 300 more.
At that time, Gessler lamented that there wasn't much he could do to actually remove many of these voters, other than send them letters asking that they verify their citizenship and forward the names to county clerks. Officials can undertake more formal challenge procedures, but not in this time frame. (Gessler, since the start of this effort, has charged the federal government with dragging its feet in giving him access to the data he was requesting.)
After the first round, fourteen voters were removed across the state. None had voted in past elections. Gessler maintains that fraud is a serious issue and that he is confident most of the 441 total identified are probably illegal voters, since the federal government says so. Meanwhile, his critics, including an immigration advocate and legal citizen who was flagged in the most recent check, argue that the federal database can be inaccurate and that letters from Gessler's office could intimidate legal voters from going to the polls.
The latest numbers from Gessler's office reveal that a total of 44 have been removed, including the fourteen from the first round. And of the other thirty, some actually voted in past elections, which for Gessler and his supporters is further proof that fraud is a legitimate problem in this state that requires attention. Of the 44 total, seven have voted in past elections.
Four voted in November of 2011, one in November of 2010 and one in November of 2004 -- all their most recent elections.
Continue for more details on these voters and for commentary from Gessler.