Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary Of State, Draws Federal Ire Over Questionable Ballot Practices (VIDEO, UPDATE)
A lawsuit filed in late September against Denver's clerk and recorder by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler attempts to stop Denver from mailing ballots to voters who were inactive in 2010. The action led to a slew of high profile politicos, including Rachel Maddow and two U.S. Representatives, to step forward and voice their opposition.
(scroll down for Rachel Maddow's latest skewer of Gessler and an interview with Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson)
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz announced today he would join Denver's Clerk and Recorder as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by Secretary Gessler. "The Secretary of State issued an order barring my office from mailing to active duty overseas personnel who did not vote in the 2010 election," said Ortiz in a press release. "I believe that these military voters need to be defended in this court ruling."
In a letter to the Denver Clerk, the Secretary grounds the suit in preserving "statewide uniformity" of voting practices. Further, the letter states that mailing ballots only to active voters "will be more economical than sending mail ballots to all inactive voters."
Critics contend the lawsuit is baseless. According to the Colorado Statesman, "four counties aren't even conducting all-mail elections this year, and Denver has already mailed thousands of ballots to overseas and military voters, including those on inactive status, so the statewide vote won't be completely uniform no matter what."
This Tuesday, Democratic Reps. Robert Brady (Pennsylvania) and Charles Gonzalez (Texas) requested a federal review of Gessler's suit. The two believe it may violate the Voting Rights Act, stating in a letter , "What Secretary Gessler suggests is likely to disenfranchise eligible voters and should be condemned." The two Reps. also point out Gessler's previous appearance before the House in March of 2011 for "a poorly conceived and executed report to gin up support for legislation allowing him to purge voters from the rolls."
The Denver Post reports Gessler denies singling out Denver due to its large number of Democratic voters.
On September 27, Rachel Maddow jumped into the fray, lumping Gessler into a larger group of politicians she feels are actively attempting to derail Democrat-friendly means of voting. Then, on her October 4th program, Maddow again called out Gessler -- this time backed by an interview with Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson.
WATCH [via MSNBC]: