Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has mailed approximately 4,000 registered voters in the state requesting that they prove that they are in fact citizens or voluntarily withdraw their state voter registrations.
The Associated Press's Ivan Moreno tweeted:
Why these 4,000? Well:
Gessler's office reportedly compared the state's voter rolls to Department of Motor Vehicles records -- letters went to people that presented non-citizen identification, like a green card, when they applied for a Colorado driver's license and then registered to vote.
"We identified a gaping hole in our voter roll integrity, and this effort will better protect our elections," Gessler said in a statement, Fox31 reports. "We know there is a problem, and I am unwilling to accept fraud in our elections. Once we cut through the political noise, voters will see a measured approach that enforces law and ensures that legal votes aren't cancelled out by illegal voters."
Conservative blog Revealing Politics obtained copies of some letters from non-citizens to office of the state secretary requesting to be removed from voter rolls who were apparently added to the rolls by some means and were inappropriately being sent mail-in ballots. Read those letters here.
However, The Denver Post reports that critics of the Republican state secretary say that he's just intimidating minority voters who also tend to be Democrats.
ColoradoPols are even more critical of Gessler's move, citing that his statements about who exactly is committing fraud and how large of a group are allegedly voting illegally have been inconsistent. From ColoradoPols:
Ever since he was first elected as Secretary of State in 2010, Gessler has been on a mission to maybe prove that there is possibly a problem with an unknown number of Coloradans who may or may not be legally registered to vote.
This whole thing has long since gotten way out of hand, and hopefully reporters will stop repeating things that come out of Gessler's office until he backs them up with something - anything - resembling even a minutiae of proof. For one thing, this whole idea that a bunch of people might be improperly registered to vote is wholly irrelevant if you can't point to any of them actually voting. It's like trying to prove an increase in the number of DUI cases by counting the number of driver's licenses issued.
Gessler's opponents have accused the secretary of state of voter suppression for his election fraud investigations. ColoradoPols turned up a video of Gessler delivering a speech about "election integrity" in Broomfield that added some more fuel to that fire. Gessler, apparently joking around, says in the video, "How do you know when you have a good election? Well, Republicans win of course."
Colorado is not the only state seeking an investigation into alleged voter fraud, North Carolina and Florida have recently engaged in similar investigations. In Florida, when the state suspects that a resident is a non-citizen, they are purged from the voter registration roll, despite federal objections.
Back in June, the Department of Homeland Security agreed to let several states access a DHS database that would help them to verify citizenship of some registered voters.