If At First You Don’t Succeed, Brown Vote Suppression Edition

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is holding a news conference today with Rep. Chris Holbert to discuss yet another voter citizenship verification bill, House Bill 1252. This bill, peddled by Gessler as a “compromise approach” following the death yesterday of House Bill 1003, would give the Secretary of State authority to request proof of citizenship from any voter he “believes is not a citizen of the United States.” Advisory follows, please note for the record that it does not contain the word “purge” anywhere in it. So everything is obviously fine, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez! And if it’s not, every Secretary of State makes a few “mistakes.” C’est la vie.

As we said yesterday about HB-1003, there has never been a documented instance of voter fraud in the state of Colorado, so the same questions about the need–and true motivations–for this legislation still apply. We’ve warned repeatedly that the Republican fixation with anti-immigrant witch hunts is a huge political mistake, and a recipe for alienating the fastest-growing bloc of voters in the United States. Republican chairman Dick Wadhams is only a few weeks from being out of office, and here’s what he said in Pueblo last Friday (Chieftain):

Looking at the upcoming election year, Wadhams said Colorado Republicans must hold their support among unaffiliated voters, who make up a third of the electorate.

“The other group that will be critical to Republican success is the growing number of Hispanic voters,” he said. “Karl Rove said it best that our party will die unless we get the Hispanic vote.” [Pols emphasis]

Folks, Wadhams’ likely successor, Sen. Ted Harvey, is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 1252.

Sorry, Dick, but they’re not getting the message.

Sec. Gessler to Discuss Legislation to Strengthen Integrity of Voter Rolls

WHO: Secretary of State Scott Gessler will join state Representative Chris Holbert (R-Parker) to discuss legislation (HB1252) aimed at allowing verification of citizenship on the voter rolls.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2011


WHERE: The Capitol

Press Room

Room 326

WHY: Following legislation requiring proof of citizenship was defeated in the state Senate, Gessler and Rep. Holbert will unveil a compromise approach that helps improve the integrity of the voter rolls without burdening legitimate voters.

# # #

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    According to ArapGOP,  in spite of the lack of a single documented case of voter fraud involving a non-citizen voting, Dems are the ones who must be suffering inexplicable angst. I guess Rs are just suffering inexplicable inability to see the writing on the wall, especially in a state like Colorado where we already have 6th generation Hispanics, Hispanics, like the Salazars, who were in what is now the US before there was a US and which is one of the states where the shift toward ever larger numbers of Hispanic voters will come sooner rather than later.

    The conservative Christian wedge issues that helped pull more Hispanic votes for GW already have since lost most of their traction as effective counters to the GOP’s increasingly naked use of fear of an encroaching Hispanic other to rile up the base.

    While Muslims will likely never represent a group nearly as large as Hispanics, Rs are likewise turning off formerly Republican small business owning and professional Muslims as well.  I’ll take our “angst” over their head in the sand reaction to changing demographics to come out ahead in the not so long term.  

  2. Ralphie says:

    But that doesn’t matter.

    The ‘Pubs are readying attack ads against any member of State Affairs who votes against it.

    This and 1003 are/were simply “Gotcha” bills.

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    at least within the Republican Party.

    New Hampshire is attempting to pass a bill that bans same day registration, targeting college students in particular. And they aren’t being particularly subtle about it, either.

    New Hampshire’s new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They’re “foolish,” Speaker William O’Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.

    “Voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do,” he added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack “life experience,” and “they just vote their feelings.”

    • BlueCat says:

      not been in vogue in the GOP. Remember Florida’s “mistakenly” purged voters, Ohio’s lack of sufficient numbers of voting machines in D districts with machines to spare in R districts? Remember all the notices sent to warn voters about voting if they had any outstanding tickets or that their voting place had changed or the date of the election had changed, the tied up phone lines for Dems needing rides?

      It’s very helpful when you are the party of the elite who have lots of money but a minority of the votes. Fear mongering, tarring the other side as unpatriotic and weak, wedge issues, playing to racism and bigotry and voter suppression are always going to be the GOP’s best bets.  That’s why message hegemony is so vital to their success. Erase their advantage there and more than half the battle is won.  

    • That O’Brien is some kind of party builder. I can only imagine how this went down with NH unaffiliateds. I’ll say this about Repubs, they don’t give a shit you know what they think of you, and they let you know it. As Boener said, “So be it.”

  4. Can Gessler order Colorado county election commissioners to “purge” their voter lists according to some sort of “standard” he might devise?

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.