Scott Gessler's mom calls for voter-ID law at election-integrity hearing

Barbara Gessler thumb.jpg
Barbara Gessler
Secretary of State Scott Gessler was not at his "election integrity" hearing in Denver yesterday -- but his mother was.

Barbara Gessler, mom of Colorado's chief election officer, sat in the front row and waited for her turn to offer public comment which, included a plea for voter ID laws and concerns about people trying to vote twice.

"I'm Barbara Gessler, Scott's mother," she said when it was her opportunity to offer testimony inside a conference room at the Secretary of State's Denver office.

The team working for Barbara's son has been going around the state over the last two weeks as part of what he has called an "election integrity listening tour" -- an opportunity for members of the public to offer comment about the election.

Barbara Gessler at SOS hearing.JPG
Sam Levin
Barbara Gessler testifying yesterday at the Secretary of State's hearing.
Gessler himself attended meetings last week in Arapahoe, Boulder, Pueblo and El Paso counties. But he could not make it to yesterday's two-and-a-half-hour Denver hearing yesterday afternoon.

The Gessler family, however, was represented.

By the time Barbara Gessler spoke, all of the speakers who had signed up on a list had already offered comment and the floor was open to anyone else who wished to weigh in.

At around 2:30 p.m, she made a short speech, explaining that as an election judge -- and the Secretary of State's mother -- she has a good sense about some election problems, and ideas about possible solutions.

"I was at a polling place where I was an election judge," she began. "And we had a lot of people come in who said, 'Oh, I received a mail-in-ballot, but I didn't get a chance to send it in.'"

She explained that she would then direct those voters to a different line, where they could fill out provisional ballots -- a voting option for those whose eligibility is not immediately established on election day.

Voters are directed to provisional ballots for a variety of reasons -- if records show they already voted, if they are not in the correct precinct, if they don't have the required identification, etc. Those ballots are counted after the regular and mail-in ballots are tallied, and after they are verified by election officials. The ballots, as well as the accompanying lines at polling station, sparked some confusion among voters and election workers, as well as concern for poll watchers and activists fearful of fraud.

In her testimony, Barbara Gessler explained that when she sent voters to the provisional line, "they weren't happy about it" -- but she told them, "This is the way that we check to make sure that you've not voted twice, because if you vote twice, you are breaking the law."

She continued, "They immediately went out to their cars, got their mail-in-ballots, filled them out and put them in the...box."

This statement prompted several audible gasps from the audience.

"All we have to do is have a big sign saying it's against the law to vote twice. Fill out a provisional ballot if you do not have your mail-in-ballot... simple as that," she said.

Officials often note that there are some safeguards in place in the system that prevent two ballots from the same voter being counted.

Continue for more of Barbara Gessler's testimony, including her call for voter ID laws.


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8 comments
newman8520
newman8520

Glad to read that it sounds like Mrs. Gessler is doing fairly well. I heard her last on the Caplis and Silverman show way back in January of 2011, defending her son for wanting to do legal work at his old law firm while being Secretary of State. Ah, the good ‘ol days of the SoS controversies.

Very sadly, she was saying at the time that her son bought her a house and was paying her mortgage, because she had many health problems as well as 13 eye surgeries, so there was no way she could work at all, as she was losing her vision. She said Scott was always a good boy, and he did well in working hard to take care of his family, as that is how he was raised. Heck, he even drives an old Honda to work, it was mentioned then and on a previous show.

She said “he wants to work and he’s not collecting graft’, and even in the difficult economic times, he was trying to be honest, which is rare for a politician, per Mrs. Gessler.

I’m sure Scott is a good son to his mother.

It is interesting that Mrs. Gessler, in the article, seems to speculate about and question the motives of others. I always thought that lawyers liked to question motives and use conjecture. I guess anyone can, should they decide to do so. Anyway, I’m glad she is doing well, and still defending her son and his causes.

Jim_Beam
Jim_Beam

"I see a lot of people at Sam's Club that are not legal citizens that have...Sam's Club cards, so I know it's possible."

So she can tell that people at Sams Club are not legal citizens how?  Oh because they aren't white or speak a language other than English at that particular moment.  How does she shop at Sams Club with a Costco card?  What do we do now show a voter ID and a drivers license?  Who is to say someone can't obtain a fake voter ID?  Gesslers job is to make sure every eligible voter has the opprotunity to vote, if someones status to vote is in question then that is why there are provisional ballots.  As a former poll inspector in California the job of voter eligibility is up to the polling place and if there were any questions about an individuals eligibility they had to fill out a provisional ballot or I would turn them away.  If someone ever had a problem with filling out a provisional ballot, which in my case never happened, I would have told them too bad so sad.  Obviously his bigotry doesn't fall far from the tree. 

Testacleese
Testacleese

And yet she has no documentation to prove her allegations. I wonder why?

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

Scott sent his Mom?

Talk about helicopter parenting.

Cecil
Cecil

I call bullshit. 

Also: "I see a lot of people at Sam's Club that are not legal citizens that have...Sam's Club cards, so I know it's possible." 

Really. You check their citizenship status in line, lady? Or are they just, you know..."those people"?

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