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Scott Gessler didn't do enough to stop voter fraud, say critics at Arapahoe County event


Others in Arapahoe complained about volunteers on site who were allegedly breaking rules and confusing or intimidating voters.

Scott Gessler, Marilyn Marks.JPG
Sam Levin
Scott Gessler talking to Marilyn Marks, an elections integrity activist, in Boulder.
"I can't believe the number of issues that need to be resolved," said Mitch Page in his public comments. He noted that his wife dragged him to the event, but he was shocked to hear so many people had observed questionable actions.

"For voter fraud, what are the consequences?" he asked.

"Nothing!" someone in the crowd shouted back.

Gessler explained that there are a range of consequences, from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the kind of fraud committed. But he also noted that he was not pleased in 2010 when six people who had voted in Colorado and in other states weren't seriously prosecuted.

Kevin Cullis, another voter in attendance, said he would like to see stricter voter ID laws in Colorado as one way to curb fraud. (These kinds of laws in other states have been met with accusations of organized voter suppression).

"It doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative, I just want the right thing to happen," he said. "Or we'll become a third-world country."

It is in both parties interests to ensure that everyone voting has a right to do so and isn't able to cheat the system by voting twice, he argued, adding, "I'm less confident in the process, which means I don't trust my politicians. I don't trust my government."

In her comments, Joy Hoffman, chair of the Arapahoe Republican Party, said she observed all kinds of intimidation and potential opportunities for fraud.

"It was very easy to do something that was less than honest," she said, adding, "It was hideous out there."

Arapahoe County crowd at Scott Gessler hearing.JPG
Sam Levin
The crowd in Arapahoe County.
Some at the hearing asked Gessler to do more to prevent fraud, while others directed their concerns at specific county clerks and recorders or law enforcement officials who they think were uninformed and did little to stop and prosecute those committing fraud.

Hoffman told us afterward, "Feeling such a lack of respect for the process was incredibly saddening."

She said it's not always clear what responsibility Gessler has versus the authority of the county clerks' offices to address possible fraudulent actions.

"He's tried very, very hard," she said of Gessler, later adding, "If people vote who shouldn't vote, it devalues your vote as much as my vote."

No matter how big or small the problem is, she said, anti-fraud initiatives need to be proactive.

"The question is, do you root out fraud before it happens, or do you play catchup?" she said.

Gessler didn't say too much during the meeting, mostly just offering brief comments and taking notes. At one point, when urged to do more to remove illegal voters from the rolls, he said, "It's one I've spent some time on," adding that there's "lots of controversy around that."

In short closing remarks, he said, "We're all trying to work in good faith and make this system as good as possible."

More from our Politics archive: "Fracking protest in Boulder: "Mob harassment" or a great moment of community togetherness?"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.



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4 comments
sehaworth
sehaworth

@Cecil  WOW, Cecil, were you there?   I was.  And I didn't see any "quivering" suburbanites parroting FOX News or any other source.  

What I saw was people who were relating real information that they had seen and experienced themselves.  Including the Chairman of the Arapahoe County Republican Party, several liberty activists and myself.  There were even a few democrats and obvious Obama supporters.  I saw and heard nothing about ACORN and not one word was uttered aloud about a stolen election...not one!  Not one person mentioned FOX News, NBC, CNN or any other news organization. 

I personally related my experiences of having spoken to REAL people, from the registered voter data-base, on the phone, during the election campaign, who told me they were not citizens.  I spoke with many people who told me that their relative, a voter from the Colorado registered voter data-base, was no longer a Colorado resident, or was deceased, and some of these exceeded 10 years.  Many of the people who spoke in Littleton, I know personally, and not one of them blamed ACORN.  And I assure you, the several people that spoke there that I know, myself included, would give the same testimony under oath in a court of law, if needed.  

Voter fraud in Colorado exists, it is real, and intimidation occurred during this last election.  Denial of this fact is absurd.  

The Colorado voter data-base needs to be purged to remove voters who are deceased, have moved out of state, who have moved to a different location in the state but who unintentionally ended up registered two or more times and non-citizens.   While I don't believe that all of the people who fall into the categories I have listed are guilty of voter fraud, the simple fact that their names remain on the Colorado voter roles and in the data-base leads to the potential for fraud, even if outside of the knowledge of the registered voter.

Cecil
Cecil

Hmmm..why, it's almost like these quivering suburbanites areparroting the things they hear on talk radio and FOX! Why, I never!

Since *actual* voter fraud is so miniscule as to be completely irrelevant,it's more important to construct a series of fear-based (and uniformlybrown-skinned) strawmen. Like that recent poll which showed nearly halfof the Republican electorate holding fast to the belief that ACORN stolethe election, despite the inconvenience of its non-existence.

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